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Applied Social Sciences Index & Abstracts (ASSIA): Searchable Fields


The ASSIA: Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts Thesaurus is used to index the Applied Social Sciences Index & Abstracts (ASSIA) 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.

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 and 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).

Look Ups and Browsable Indexes

Applied Social Sciences Index & Abstracts (ASSIA) offers four Look ups or browsable indexes, so you can easily find spelling or format variations of, for example, an author's name or a journal title. You can find the Look up links in the advanced search page and they are available for the following searchable fields: author, publication title, subject, company/organization and country of publication. 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 Limit To 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(physical isolation) or AB("physical isolation")                  

Publication abstracts are provided for most articles. Search the abstract field specifically to ensure that you get focused results.

Search phrases using truncation to capture alternative endings of words; search multi-word phrases with quotation marks to ensure exact phrases.


physical isolation

"physical isolation"

This will search anywhere in the abstract, indexing and full-text.  In A&I databases, this also searches content that may be suppressed if the library's holdings do not include related full-text subscriptions.  

Anywhere except full text NOFT

NOFT(physical isolation) or NOFT("physical isolation")

Anywhere except full text will search just abstracting and indexing metadata.  In an A&I database like ASSIA, there may be suppressed full-text content that will be eliminated using NOFT. 

All subjects & indexing SU


This search looks at all the fields that are indexed and can include classification, identifier, etc.  To look for exact subject, use MAINSUBJECT (Subject heading, below)

In this example, we took out the word physical to broaden the Subject search.  It can be kept, put in quotation marks or the keyword physical can be added in a different way.



AU(Scogin, F)

Author names will generally be indexed as shown in the original article. The standard format is Last Name, First Name. We do recommend that you use the Author Name Lookup for searches to ensure a comprehensive result set.

Author Affiliation AF


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.

Company/Organization ORG

ORG(  )

This is used when an organization is indexed as a subject. 

While you can put the name of any possible organization in this search, it is highly recommended you use the Company/organization Name Lookup.  For example, looking for ORG(UNESCO) will reveal no results.  But using the Lookup for United Nations (begins with) and finding the United Nations Educational, Scientific, & Cultural Organization will reveal a multitude of possibilities

Country of Publication CP


This field is used to target the country of publication.  There is a Look up for this field. 

Document Title



This search will target results that have your keyword directly in the title.  

Identifier IF


When a database has a keyword/identifier field, this is a way to narrow the search.  They are terms that would mostly used to identify a topic.  While there may be many keywords associated with a topic, identifiers are those that "float to the top".  Narrower than a Subject search.




The International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is used to uniquely identify any serial publication worldwide. If known, it can be the quickest and most accurate way to search for records stemming from a particular journal. Not all journals have an ISSN. Hyphens are optional.

Location LOC


This field is when a location operates as a subject as well. A Lookup is available for accuracy in searching.  For example, there are 4 possible indexed location terms for Appalachia.

Person PER

PER(Roosevelt, Franklin)

This field is used when a person is indexed as a subject.  

The standard format is Last Name, First Name. We do recommend that you use the Person Name Lookup for searches to ensure a comprehensive result set.

Publication Title


PUB(A Life in the Day)                                            

This field contains the publication name of a periodical, it displays as part of the source information. This field is word indexed allowing for easy retrieval. You may wish to consult the Look up Publications for a comprehensive list of journal names.

Publisher PB


This field is used to quickly direct the researcher to all publications from a particular publisher.  This is helpful when used in conjunction with other search terms.

You can use a general word, like science or a more specific name of a publisher.

Publisher location PBLOC PBLOC(india)
Resource location/URL RL  
Subject Heading MAINSUBJECT

SU(physical isolation)

This search (in comparison to the All subjects & headings search above) will search only the subject heading and classification code fields.  




The update field consists of an eight digit date in the format YYYYMMDD. The database is updated weekly. The example is March 1, 2018