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Policy File Index: Advanced Search

Unique resource for U.S. public policy research

Use the Advanced Search to create a more structured query, searching across different fields. Enter your search term, then use the pull-down menus to the right to select the search fields you want to target, and between each row select Boolean operators to connect your search terms.

For a listing, description, and examples of how to format a search using field codes indexed in ProQuest databases, please visit the Searchable fields page of this guide. 

Additionally, visit the Search Tips and Advanced Search Help Documentation for detailed help on working with operators, fields, special characters, operator precedence, stop words, and other platform search tips. You can also visit the ProQuest Platform Search Tips section of this guide to review platform search defaults and tips.

IMPORTANT: The search default is set to Anywhere. Anywhere searches the full bibliographic record (all indexed fields) including the full text. Your organization's ProQuest administrator may have chosen to change the default to search Anywhere except full text (NOFT) instead. Anywhere except full text (NOFT) searches the full bibliographic record, but does NOT include a search of the full text. 

If you are the ProQuest Administrator for your account, visit the ProQuest Administrator Module page to learn more about the interface settings that are available for edit.  

You can also limit your search to items containing Full text from ProQuest and Peer Reviewed items to only find documents reviewed by subject matter experts. Use the Publication date menu to target a date range or a specific date. 

From the Advanced Search page you may find a link to the thesaurus feature. A thesaurus is an alphabetical listing of all the subject terms in a single database, used to classify and organize information for that database. The thesaurus shows relationships between terms such as synonyms or related terms, and hierarchical arrangements such as broader terms, or narrower terms. Most ProQuest databases have an associated thesaurus. 

Once you select the Thesaurus link, you will have an option to search for terms containing the word you have entered or beginning with the word you have entered. From there you can click on the subject terms to show the relationships with other terms. You can then select the subject terms that you would like to add to your search. 

For additional details on how to use the thesaurus and search using the subject field, please see the Searchable fields section of this guide. You can also find additional Thesaurus help from our Thesaurus help file

The Command Line Search is also accessible from the Advanced Search page. Click the Next: Command Line Search button at the bottom-right of this page to be taken to the Command Line Search Tips or select the Command Line Search option under the ProQuest Platform Search Tips menu. 

When searching multiple databases together, the most common search limits to appear on the Advanced Search page include:

Source type - restrict your search to documents from one or more source types—such as magazines, newspapers, or trade journals. The list of source types will vary depending on the databases you are currently searching.

Document type - restrict your search to one or more document types—such as articles, audio/video clips, or poems. The list of document types will vary depending on the databases you are currently searching.

Language - restrict your search to documents published in one or more languages—such as Arabic, German, or Sanskrit. The list of languages will vary depending on the databases you are currently searching.

Additional or altogether different limits may appear depending on the databases that you have chosen to search.

From the Results page options, you can adjust the sort order, the number of items per page, excluding duplicate documents, and show additional search terms.