ProQuest® Congressional Help - Intermediate User Scenario - Advanced Search form
Send Feedback

Glossary Item Box

  • Print

Intermediate User Scenario - Advanced Search form

Who Neha, a first year graduate student
Class Governance and Public Policy
Assignment Write a detailed legislative history and analysis of a public law passed by Congress on a domestic policy issue
Objective Find information about a public law
Starting Info Neha just read an article about the SAVE LIVES Act of 2004, a bill to amend the Communications Act of 1934 and the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to ensure the availability of radio spectrum for use by public safety agencies


  1. Selects the Advanced Search form from the ProQuest Congressional options for Congressional Publications searches to have a wide range of options for limiting her search.
  2. On the Advanced Search form, clears everything except Legislative Histories by clicking Clear All and selecting the appropriate box, and changes the date restriction to Previous 10 years.
  3. Types SAVE LIVES Act into the box and clicks Search, but gets no results.
  4. Puzzled, wonders if she has somehow gotten the act name wrong and so decides to do a new search using the other information she has; types Communications Act in one box, Homeland Security Act in the second box, and radio in the third box.
  5. Clicks Search, but gets no results.
  6. Certain that the information she has can’t be totally wrong, decides to check the information against data elsewhere in the database, and expands the search to include Any Congress.
  7. Clicks Select All so that all data will be searched rather than just the data with the Legislative Histories document type label.
  8. Clicks Search.
  9. Gets as a result a record with the Report document label and the title SAVE LIVES Act of 2004.
  10. Opens the report record and sees that there is no reference to a public law.
  11. Asks a librarian who explains that the reason the legislative history search did not return any results is because the bill Neha is searching for was reported in the Senate, but was not enacted into law; the librarian could click the bill number in the SAVE LIVES Act record and retrieve the relevant bill text and the bill tracking report, but Neha's assignment specifically calls for a legislative history of a public law, so that wouldn’t help her.
  12. Clears the form and once again clears everything except the Legislative Histories document type.
  13. Types homeland security in the box and leaves Date restriction set at all available dates.
  14. Clicks Search.
  15. Retrieves results for legislative histories for public laws pertaining to homeland security issues; selects the law that most interests her and is ready to begin her analysis.


Legislative histories are compiled only for bills that are enacted into law and legislative history searches retrieve results only for bills that have been enacted into law.

Copyright © 2012  ProQuest LLC.  All rights reserved.

©2014. All Rights Reserved.