You may have seen this logo when you logged into Supreme Court Insight or even when you’re doing interdisciplinary research on medical abstracts in MEDLINE. You will know you’re in a ProQuest database because you will see some variation of this at the top of the page:
Below I’m going to highlight some unique features that work across all ProQuest databases so that you can use them effectively, whether you’re researching American Indians and the American West, Sports Medicine, or Historical Black Newspapers.
The first tip is that some ProQuest databases are interoperable. For example, if you are searching through Legislative Insight and notice a link to a regulation, this means that you can jump seamlessly from Legislative Insight into Regulatory Insight. As a member of the ASU Law community you have access to many of the ProQuest databases and some of them work together to bring you content.
A second tip is to use the Advanced Search features. ProQuest has very granular search fields and filtering options for you to choose from. These search fields are frequently specific to the subject matter of your searches. Using the advanced search is especially helpful in the context of a deep database that has a voluminous amount of source documents. Being able to laser-focus your searches on only the results relevant to you can save you large amounts of time.
The third tip is to use ProQuest’s extensive collection of “LibGuides” (research guides – like ours). Each ProQuest database has a guide with extensive documentation telling you how to use the database, the scope of the database, the unique features of the database, and any unique limitations. They are a great place to get deep information about the ProQuest tool that you would like to use.
The fourth tip is to contact a law librarian. I know that we recommend this often but it’s the ultimate time-saver. We’re experts in the scope of these databases and know which tool would be the most useful for each job. A quick email or appointment with us will save you hours of combing through results (perhaps even in the wrong databases). We can get you on track with a research plan so that you feel confident you have covered the right territory.
For the law-specific ProQuest databases, we have created a series of tutorial videos to show you how to make effective use of these databases for legal research. They are available on our Introduction to Topical Law Databases playlist, which features all of our tutorial videos – in addition to being embedded below.