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Searching EBSCO Databases: Home

About EBSCO Databases

EBSCO databases include the multidisciplinary Academic Search Complete, which covers more than 12,500 journals plus monographs, reports, and conference proceedings and has content from the 1880's to present. Full text is provided for over 8,500 journals, including over 7,300 that are peer-reviewed. While Academic Search Complete can be used for almost any topic, subject-specific EBSCO databases also are available and offer more in-depth coverage and additional search options appropriate to a particular subject discipline. These include Biological Abstracts, Business Source Complete, Education Source, ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Medline, PsycInfo, SocIndex with Full Text, and many more.

Instructions for Advanced Search

Advanced Search usually is the default search method.

  1. Click on Sign In in the Ebsco task bar at the top of the page to create a personal MyEbscohost account for saving articles, searches, etc.
  2. To search more than one Ebsco database at a time, click on Choose Databases, and follow onscreen instructions.
  3. Enter terms in the text entry search boxes on the left of the page. If more than box is used, use the drop-down menus below the first search box to connect the boxes with the operator AND, OR, or NOT. The default connector is AND.
  4. If desired, use the drop-down menu to the right of each text entry box to specify fields (author, title, subject terms, abstract, etc.) where terms should be found. Expand a search if needed by looking for some terms in the All Text field if provided.
  5. Narrow your results by selecting one or more limiters such as scholarly (peer reviewed) journals, published date, document type, publication type, language, etc. In Academic Search Complete, document types include abstract, article, bibliography, case study, editorial, interview, letter, literary criticism, etc. Academic Search Complete publication types include periodical, newspaper, book, educational and health reports, and primary source document, which includes selected U.S. Supreme Court cases, speeches, and American history documents. Caution: Using the Full Text limiter wil exclude full text available from other sources.
  6. Click a Search button. One is located to the right of the text entry search boxes near the top of the page, and one is located at the bottom right of the page.
  7. If desired, narrow results by selecting one or more limiters in the Refine Results panel on the left of the page. Click Show More or expand a limiter category to see additional choices. If not satisfied with your results, be sure to try searching with relevant subject term limiters, especially thesaurus terms if provided.
  8. In the search results list, mouse over the magnifying glass icon to the right of a record title for a preview of the detailed record.
  9. Click the folder icon to the right of the magnifying glass icon to add a record to a folder. To save folder contents past the current search session, sign in to your personal MyEbscoHost account.
  10. If a full text link is not provided, click on Find It @ UHCL to check for possible full text from another source. If an article isn't found online, there will be a link to submit an article request.
  11. Click on a record title to access the detailed record view.
  12. In a detailed record, start a new search if desired by clicking on a relevant link such as an author, source, subject term, or author-supplied keyword.
  13. In the Tools panel on the right of the page, click a desired link to add the record to a folder or to print, email, or save a record.
  14. If using the Cite tool to view a specific citation style such as APA or MLA, proof read the citation carefully before including it in your work.
  15. Use the Export tool to export a record to a citation management program such as EndNote.
  16. Special Ebsco search links (example: Publications) can vary by database and are provided in the task bar at the top of the page. Use Publications to find whether a journal is indexed in the database, its peer-review status, full text availability, etc.
  17. Use Subject Terms to identify and select official thesaurus terms, which may improve your search results. You also can identify subject terms on search results screens and in detailed records.
  18. When you already have a good article on your topic, use Cited References to find other articles that have cited it.
  19. Click on More to find search links for Images and for Indexes. Use Indexes to browse entries for specific fields such as author-supplied keywords or geographic terms.
  20. For more information, use Ask a UHCL Librarian, or refer to onscreen Help.

Advanced Search Tips

  • Type Boolean or logical operators/connectors, proximity operators, and wildcard symbols directly into a search box.
  • The operator "and" narrows results. Example: children and violence finds both words in the same record.
  • The operator "or" broadens results. Example: teacher or instructor finds either word.
  • The operator "not" narrows results. Example: martin luther not king finds Martin Luther but not Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Use quotation marks to find an exact phrase. Example: "climate change" finds the exact phrase climate change.
  • Use proximity operator "w" immediately followed by a number to find words that are close to each other in a specific order. Example: cloning w5 human finds the words within 5 words of each other, and cloning appears first.
  • Use proximity operator "n" immediately followed by a number to find words that are close to each other in any order. Example: cloning n3 human finds the words within 3 words of each other; either word can appear first.
  • Use the * (asterisk) multi-character wildcard to broaden results by finding words that start with the same letters. Example: ethic* finds ethic, ethics, ethically, etc.
  • Use the ? (question mark) single-character wildcard to find variant spellings where one letter changes. Example: wom?n finds woman or women.
  • Use the # (number sign) wildcard to represent one or zero characters. Example: colo#r finds the American spelling of color or the British spelling of colour with a "u".

Images from Academic Search Complete

Illustration of Academic Search Complete advanced search screen that shows a search for plagiarism in the subject terms field and avoid* or prevent* with wildcards.


Illustratration of search results list display


Illustration of a detailed record display

Illustration of Ebsco task bar

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