PQD has many valuable features, including built-in help and built-in thesauri. You can click on Help from anywhere within the platform to learn more about a feature. The Help area is searchable, which should be a no-brainer. Nevertheless, I know of one competing system with a nonsearchable help area, making it more difficult to use.
Built-in thesauri are available from Advanced and Command Line Search pages for a number of databases and include a ProQuest Thesaurus and a thesaurus of Technology Terms. As PQD explains: “The thesauri show relationships between terms such as synonymous or related terms, and hierarchical arrangements such as broader terms, or narrower terms. Many subjects also have associated scope notes.” More than 30 databases have associated thesauri.
ProSheets replace Bluesheets and contain detailed search techniques for special features of each database. ProSheets include the database description, subject coverage, date range, update frequency, data sources, origin, and a sample record. ProSheets are available at dialog.com/prosheets or inside the Help area if you are already logged in. Consult the ProSheet to see if a database can answer very specific questions efficiently based on available search fields.
My Research is “a place where you can save, manage, and organize the content and supporting materials you find and create in ProQuest.” My Research has been very popular with LIS students and will prove valuable for most everyone. Two student comments reflect their enthusiasm:
PQD My Research is a feature that I absolutely loved. The ability to create detailed folders and articles where I was able to save research for later proved extremely helpful.
PQD’s My Research functions have been extremely helpful, even a lifesaver, while doing the research for my final client project. The ability to create folders for results and to name searches or search sets has been essential for staying organized. This aspect separates PQD from LN and Factiva, which both allow saving searches but seem to have much fewer options regarding how to organize those searches.
After conducting a search, you can preview an article, most commonly an abstract. Subject terms are included, useful for pearl growing. Pearl growing is the process of using one information item such like a key term, a subject term, or a citation to find more information (wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_growing).
There is no charge for Document Preview. From the preview screen (or from the Results page or My Research), you can save results to My Research, email the item, or Export/Save to a variety of files such as PDF, XLS, RTF, HTML, XML, etc. Or, you can save to a reference manager such as EndNote, RefWorks, and others. Major citation styles are available for creating bibliographies.