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Sociology Graduate Student Resources: More Search Tips

Field Searching

If results are too large or seem irrelevant, you can limit one or more search terms to a specific field.  For example, you can choose to search for important terms in the Title field. 

fielded searching

Proximity Searching in ProQuest

You can use these strategies in ProQuest databases such as Sociological Abstracts.

pre/# is used to search for terms in proximity to each other in a specific order; # is replaced with the number of words permitted between the search terms.

Sample Search: parent* pre/2 educational (within 2 words & in order)

  • This would retrieve articles with no more than two words between parent* and educational (in this order) e.g. "Parent practices and educational achievement" OR "Parents on Educational Attainment" OR "Parental Values, Educational Attainment" etc.

w/# is used to search for terms in proximity to each other in any order; # is replaced with the number of words permitted between the search terms.

Sample Search: parent* w/3 educational (within 3 words & in any order)

  • This would retrieve articles with no more than three words between parent* and educational (in any order)  e.g. "Educational practices of parents" OR "Parents value motivation and education" OR "Educational attainments of Latino parents"

? (the question mark) is used as a wildcard

Sample Search: freshm?n and "college transition"

  • This would search for freshman and freshmen.

Use Subjects / Find Key Words

Subjects in Soc Abstracts - screenshot

Look for Cited By

in Google Scholar

Cited by screenshot from Google Scholar