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Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA): Advanced Search

Advanced Search Form and Pull-Down Menus

When running a search, the search default from the pull-down menu is Anywhere. This searches the full bibliographic record. Other search fields can be chosen such as abstract, author, document title and publication title.

The full listing, description, and example of how to format a search using field codes indexed in ASFA, are explained in this ProQuest LibGuide.

The Publication title and Author field includes a look up link to the browsable index for this field.

Search Options

The first limit available is the Peer reviewed limit. Checking the Peer reviewed limit will restrict your search to only search and retrieve records that are indexed in peer reviewed journals.

The Publication date limit defaults to search all dates. Other options allow you to choose the period in which you like to search.

Source type limit refers to the publication type. They are unchecked by default and when you run your search, will include all source types. Limiting your search by marking any of the source types will only run your search to include those source types you selected.

The Document type limit is used to refer to the format of the full-text. Limiting your search by marking any of the document types will then only run your search to include those document types you selected.

The Language limit is used to restrict your search to documents published in one or more languages.

Boolean Operators

Boolean Operators link concepts and are used to broaden or narrow your search. Briefly, here's how they work:

AND - finds results with your all search terms.  AND narrows your search so that you retrieve fewer articles.

OR - finds results with any of your search terms.  OR broadens your search so that you retrieve more articles.

NOT - finds results without the specified search terms.  NOT narrows your search but it can be tricky to use.

By default, ASFA assumes an AND relationship between your search terms.

Take a look at the Boolean Operators guide for more detailed information about how to use this valuable search technique.

Proximity Operators

ASFA recognizes two different proximity operators:

NEAR/n will search for records with 2 search terms within a specified number (n) of words apart, in any order.  For example, mangrove NEAR/3 conservation.

PRE/n will search for records where the first term precedes the second term within a specified number (n) of words.  For example, mangrove PRE/4 conservation.

Going from Database Record to the Full-Text Article

Most of the Library's subscription databases enable you to connect directly from a citation record to the full-text article online, if available.

Click on the Find it icon link in the database record to search UHM electronic collections for the full-text article.

If we do not have access to the article in an online format (No Full Text available), use the Hawaii Voyager link to see if we have it available in print.

If we do not have the article in print or electronic format, select Request document via Interlibrary Loan to access the Interlibrary Loan online request form. Interlibrary Loan is a free service provided to you by the Library -- the article will be sent to you within a few days as a pdf.

Wildcard & Truncation Characters

The Wildcard character (?) is used in place of a single letter either inside or at the right end of a word.  Use multiple wildcard characters to represent multiple letters.  For example:

organi?ation finds: conserve? finds: oxid????? finds:
organization conserves oxidation
organisation conserved oxidative
  but not conserve oxidizing


Truncation is a search method in which symbols are used in place of letters or words to help you broaden your search.

When searching for several words with variations at the beginning, end, or within the word, the use of truncation can save time. ASFA offers standard truncation (*), in which the asterisk (*) replaces up to 10 characters, and defined truncation ([*n] or $n), which replaces up to the specified number of letters.   For example:

*oxia finds: Hawaii* finds: harbo*r finds: [*4]ology finds:
anoxia Hawaii harbor biology
asthenoxia Hawaii Island harbour etiology
hypoxia Hawaiian   histology

Phrase Searching

Sometimes you will want to search for a specific phrase rather than searching for individual, single words and combining them with the Boolean Operator AND.

When you do a phrase search, the record will have to contain all of the words, in the order you specify, and right next to each other.

To specify a phrase search, simply enclose the phrase in quotation marks. For example:

"sustainable fisheries"

Doing a phrase search results in fewer, generally more relevant, results. These are examples from ASFA:

sustainable fisheries retrieves 29,806 records

"sustainable fisheries" retrieves 1,274 records

Phrases and single words can be searched in combination, and will be linked with AND, as in this example.

"sustainable fisheries" tuna "longline fishing"

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