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BIO323 Research Skills Guide: Proquest SciTech Collection

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What is the ProQuest SciTech Premium Collection?

The ProQuest SciTech Premium Collection is a multidisciplinary content collection of scholarly and learned material in the natural sciences, technology, engineering and related disciplines. Faculty, graduate and post-graduate students will find comprehensive coverage from thousands of full-text titles including peer-reviewed journals, trade publications, books/monographs, conference proceedings, reports, newswires, video material and much more.

Moreover, for those who need to dive deep into their discipline, we include a wide-range of discipline specific A&I databases for fast discovery of relevant content. Editorial input into content selection, controlled vocabulary and indexing brings structure to the literature making it easier for researchers to efficiently discover relevant papers within their discipline.

Advanced Search

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 (outlined below), and between each row select Boolean operators to connect your search terms.

Try It Now - Open the ProQuest SciTech Premium Collection and try trying in the keywords - "Invertebrate drift" AND (stream* OR river* OR freshwater). Other ideas include - drift NEAR/4 invertebrate, drift, micro-invertebrate, water ecology, running water.

NEAR/# allows you to target your search by finding documents where they words are within some number(#) of words from each other (either before of after). The # will be replaced by the number, the number will determine the number of words between your search terms. In the ProQuest example below, the databases will search for drift within 4 words of invertebrate in the title of the article (search field changed to document title). Also, try changing the search in field for keywords to appear in the abstract or subject of the articles.

You can limit your search to items containing Full text 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.

Operator precedence

ProQuest assumes your search terms should be combined in a certain order. If you include operators such as AND and OR, we will combine them in this order: NEAR, AND, OR, NOT.

For instance, a search on education AND elementary NOT secondary would be interpreted as (education AND elementary) NOT secondary. So in this case, (education AND elementary) is considered first.

This search will return results regarding education with information on elementary but not secondary education.You can also use parentheses to control the order in which your search terms get combined, instead of using the standard operator precedence.The use of parentheses and Boolean operators in combination is perfectly acceptable.

Helpful guides

Here are a few guides to help with database searching:


top of search results page

1. From the top of the ProQuest results page, you have the option to edit your search strategy through the Modify search link or you can make changes to your search in the search box. 

2. Click Recent searches to view your search history. You can also view your search history by clicking on the Clock icon at the top of the main navigation bar. If you select any items during your search session, those Selected items will be stored in the Folder icon that is accessible from the main navigation bar (next to the Clock icon). 

3. Use the Save search option to save the search strategy to your My Research account. For more information on My Research please see the My Research page of this guide. Options include:

  • Create alert sets up an email alert that you schedule and when new records are added to the database that match your search criteria, the records will be emailed to you. 
  • Create RSS feed sets up an RSS feed on the search strategy. Take the URL that is generated and put it into your RSS reader to begin pulling in records. 
  • Get search link generates a persistent/durable URL to the current search strategy. This link expires one year from the day you created the link. 

In addition to using these features from the Results page, they can also be used from the Selected items list and through the Folder icon. 

results page view

4. Select items individually or select all items on the page. Click Selected items to view your selected records list.

5. Hover over the Source type icon for the source type of the document. For a list of all source types available in your results, see Source type in the Applied filters panel on the left side of the results page.

6. The Cite tool generates a bibliography. Copy and paste the generated bibliography into a document and make any necessary edits. Remember to always check for accuracy. You can also Email or Print any selected records.

Save records to a bibliographic manager like EndNote or Save a copy of the record to one of the supported file formats. Save to My Research adds the records to your My Research account where they will be stored and available each time you sign in to the My Research account. 

results page filters


To the left of the results page and records, you'll see the option to Sort and use Applied filters.

7. The Sort menu controls the sort order of the records that appear in the results page. Relevance is the default sort order, but your administrator can choose a different default order. Relevance is determined by an algorithm that factors in the number of time your search terms appear in the record as well as where in the record your search terms appear. Other possible sort options include oldest first and most recent first.

8. Use the Applied filters section to apply additional limits (also known as filters or facets) to refine your results. The limits are pulled from the list of available indexed/searchable fields that appear in the current result set. Some of the main limits you can expect to find (each search and database is different so you can expect different limits to display) include source, publication title, subject, language, and date.



[Sourced from the ProQuest Libguide]

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