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British Nursing Database: Searchable Fields

A guide to all aspects of British Nursing Index with Full Text including content, searching and viewing results on the ProQuest Platform.


The ProQuest Thesaurus is used to index the BNI subject field. Subject terms are found in the subject field and this field is part of the searchable fields table to the right. Subject terms are also commonly known as descriptors, controlled vocabulary, and sometimes classification terms.

In BNI, there are different subject types and in addition to the all encompassing subject field, there is also a separate subject field for location, publisher location and author affiliation. These are also included in the searchable fields table to the right.

The thesaurus allows you to find subject terms to narrow or broaden your search and is available from the Advanced and Command Line Search. If you want to run a search on a subject, but you do not know what term to use, use the thesaurus to search the controlled vocabulary. A hierarchical display is available and will give suggestions on the appropriate subject terms to add to your search.

To use the thesaurus, select the Thesaurus link from the Advanced or Command Line Search, then browse or search for subjects containing the word or beginning with the word. Mark the items that you would like to search and then select the appropriate Boolean operator to combine your items. Click the Add to search button and your terms will be placed into the search form. From there, run your search to include the subject terms (adding additional search fields and terms if needed).

Through the Thesaurus link and in addition to the ProQuest Thesaurus, you'll also see a link to the BNI Thesaurus.

Both are used to index the subject fields but the BNI Thesaurus is compiled of terms focussed within a UK context. For example, NHS, Primary Care Trusts, General Practioner etc.   Both thesauri allow you to find subject terms to narrow or broaden your search. Subjects are also commonly known as descriptors, controlled vocabulary, and sometimes classification terms.

The BNI Thesaurus is compiled by professional librarians with experience providing services to nurses and midwives and an understanding of the U.K. healthcare environment and since adding BNI to the our family of Health Science databases, ProQuest has been committed to maintaining the expert BNI indexing.

Look Ups and Browsable Indexes

British Nursing Database offers two Look ups or browsable indexes.  You can find the Look up links in the advanced search page and they are available for the author and subject fields.  For a description of these fields, please see the searchable fields table to the right. 

Note: Look ups are also available from the Command Line search (through the Look up terms link).

To use and locate a Look up or browsable index, select the field from the advanced search pull-down menu. If a Look up is available, under the search row you will see a link to the Look up. Other Look ups and browsable indexes will be listed in the Search options section of the advanced search page.

Select the Look up link and then you will see a browsable and alphabetical index for that field. There are some indexes that will not display an alphabetical list before searching for the term, rather you will have to enter a term first, and then the alphabetical list of matches will display.

Once you locate the index term that you would like to add to your search, mark the item, and then click the Add to search button. The index term will now appear in the advanced search form along with the appropriate pull-down menu selection.

Searchable Fields

Field Name


Search Examples & Explanation





AB(child welfare worker)

We use the journal-provided abstract with little or no modification, or have members from our editorial team write an abstract from scratch, drawing on the article’s text and concepts. Our team’s goal is to make the article’s point as clearly and succinctly as possible.

Abstracts are available from 1971.

Accession Number / ProQuest Document ID



Searches both the unique ProQuest document ID (applied to all documents) 

All Fields


ALL(tett, gillian)

ALL searches for keywords in the citation and abstract. It is a full record search, but does not include a search on the full text.




AU(Ruban, Lilia)

Use to find documents written by a particular author. Try searching on both the full first name and initials in order to retrieve all publications by a specific author. Can be searched as (last name, first name) or (first name last name).

Author Affiliation



Use to search on additional author information such as institutional affiliation, location of institution, and if provided, the email address of the author can sometimes appear in this field.

Cited Author



Use to search for an author that is part of the Cited References section of a record.

Cited Document Title



Use to search for document titles that are part of the Cited References section of a record.

Cited Publication Date


CYR(October 1987)

Use to search for publication dates that are part of the Cited References section of a record.

Cited Publication Title



Use to search for a publication title that is part of the Cited References section of a record.

Classification Codes



Use Classification Codes when searching specific topics. Classification Codes are a fast way to precisely target a search by topic, industry or market, geographical area, or article type.





Search for a company or other organizations featured prominently in an article.

Digital Object Identifiers



Search for documents with DOIs using the DOI search. It is a unique identifier assigned to a document that is registered through the International DOI Foundation.

Document Feature



Use to search for features in an article such as charts, diagrams, illustrations, and photographs.

Document Text


FT(Mortgage backed securities)

Search for keywords in the body of the article.

Document Title




Locates the occurrence of search words in the title of the article.

Document Type



Use this to find specific document types such as article, book, essay, and market research.





This search field looks for the eight digit International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), where available. Hyphens are optional.




Use to search the issue number of a resource.




Use to locate the original language of the document.




Search for a specific geographic area or location.




This field can only be searched if the database has a thesaurus. The prefix MAINSUBJECT will be added to your search when you select the term from the Thesaurus or if you type the mnemonic. MAINSUBJECT is a way to limit to the subject heading originating from the thesaurus and does not include the use of terms coming from the location index, person index, company index or other classification terms. To search on terms that incorporate all of these subject and index terms, please use the Subject Heading field (SU).

MeSH Subjects


MESH(intervention studies)

MeSH stands for Medical Subject Heading and is the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus. Any record with MeSH subjects means that the record is indexed in MEDLINE/PubMed.  When a record has MeSH subjects assigned to it, you will often see ProQuest Subjects assigned to it as well. The ProQuest subjects appear in the Subject Heading (All) field.




The NAICS code defines the economic activity of a business as defined by the US Census Bureau. This information often appears within the Company/Organization section of the record.



PER(Steve Jobs)

Use to find articles about a person.

Place of Publication


CP(New York)

Use to locate articles published in a specific place. This will search for the city and county of publication.

Product Name



Use to find articles about a specific product.

Publication date



Use to find a specific publication date. Can be searched as:

 (YYYYMMDD) = (19871020)

 (YYYY and month) or (month and YYYY)= (1987 and Oct)

 (YYYY) = 1987

The use of <, >, and – are supported to specify before or after a specific date and a date range.

Publication Title



PUB(Journal of Learning Disabilities)

Use to search for a specific publication such as the journal or book title.



PB(BioMed Central Ltd.)

Use to search for the publisher of the source such as the journal publisher.




Use the reference search field to look for the data in a cited reference. It will search all of the main components of a cited reference (cited author, cited document title, cited publication date, and cited publication title). For optimum retrieval search within the full text.

Source type



Use to find a specific source type such as books, newspapers, and scholarly journals.

Subject Heading(All)



Use the subject search field to look for articles about a specific subject. A search for the subject heading “accounts,” will find articles with the subject accounts, health savings accounts or checking accounts. To run an exact subject search where only “accounts” is retrieved and not subject terms that contain additional terms, search using EXACT.





Use to search for Tags attached to articles. This field is user generated and only searches Tags that were made public by ProQuest users.




Use to search for the volume of a resource.