What is ProQuest?

Many college classes require students to do "research" - that is to find information about something. One of the quickest and easiest ways to do this is to find articles from "periodicals." "Periodicals" is the term used by schools and libraries when referring to magazines, journals, and newspapers. Articles are usually short, often easy to find, and very current. A popular way to find articles is to search for them by using "online databases." These "online databases" are just collections of articles that can be accessed through the library's web page.

One company that provides online databases is ProQuest. These ProQuest databases offer articles in the electronic format, and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from any location with internet access. Why do database companies like ProQuest often offer different databases? Many of the different databases are focused on one subject or idea. For example, the ProQuest database, Nursing and Allied Health Source, has articles about nursing, medications, therapies, new drugs, etc. Sometimes your best searches are those done in a database dedicated to your subject or class.

What are the ProQuest databases?

The library subscribes to a package that provides a number of different ProQuest databases. These include:

How do you access the ProQuest databases?

The library acquires ProQuest's databases by subscription. Since companies like ProQuest are profit-driven, they require that anyone using their databases do so by using either computers on campus or by using their KCTCS username and password to log in.

How do you choose one or more ProQuest databases?

ProQuest automatically searches through all of the databases unless you select an individual database or a specific set of databases.

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To select either one database or a smaller number of databases, look at the options listed in the "Search subject areas" bar located in the middle of the page. When you move the cursor to a subject area, a hover menu of the databases relevant to that subject appears. If you click on the "Search the..." option, ProQuest will search through all of the databases shown in that subject area. If you wish to use just one database, then click on the title of that database.

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How do you find articles in the ProQuest databases?

ProQuest allows users to search for articles using two different search types: Basic or Advanced. For the students' convenience, this section will describe how to use the Basic search. The "Help" icon found in the upper right corner of the ProQuest page provides simple, yet comprehensive instructions for each of the search types.

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After each search, a screen opens showing the results of that search.


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How do you use and read the results of a search?

The Results Page tells you how many articles were found and then lists them. ProQuest's default settings shows 20 articles per screen.

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Not every article in the ProQuest databases is available in full-text, so the Results list tells you which articles are full-text. Under the title of each article are a series of icons and phrases that tell you how much of that article is available. A "citation" is just the citation. An "abstract" is only a brief description of the article. Only the phrases "full-text" or "full-text-PDF" indicate that the entire article is available. You may also limit results to "full-text" only when searching by clicking the "full-text" box under the search bar.

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ProQuest does NOT automatically separate the articles into the categories of newspapers, magazines, and journals. You can limit your search to journals by clicking in the box next to the option "Peer-reviewed." ProQuest uses the phrase "Peer-reviewed" to identify what ProQuest identifies as journals.

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To help you see if an article might be useful ProQuest uses a hovering tool that shows an abstract of that article and indicates if it is available in full-text. Just to the right of each article on the results page is the option "Preview." When you move the cursor to this option, a small window opens with the citation, an abstract, a list of subjects addressed in the article, and icons indicating if it is, or is not, a full text article. When you move the cursor, this window will automatically close.


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Each article is described with a "Citation." The citation lists all of the information you will need when creating footnotes, a works cited page, or a bibliography. The kinds of information found in a citation include: author's name, title of the article, title of the periodical in which the article is found, date of issue, volume and issue number, and page number(s) of the article. In ProQuest, the full citations are located at the bottom of the article.

To learn how to use this information to make footnotes and a works cited page, you use a "Manual of Style" as assigned in your class.


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Each article in ProQuest also offers a "Cite" tool.

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There are learning units that discuss how to use each of the most common "Manuals of Style:" the APA (American Psychological Association) Manual of Style, the Chicago Manual of Style, and the MLA (Modern Language Association) Manual of Style.

How to print, email, or save an article

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To print or save the PDF you will need to use the print or save icons located on the upper left side of the article.    

How do you disconnect from ProQuest?

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If you have difficulties at any time, ask the Librarian for assistance!