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Library Guides

Get Started with Research


EBSCOhost is a powerful online reference system accessible online. It offers a variety of databases from leading information providers. The  comprehensive databases range from general reference collections to specially designed, subject-specific databases.

Search Tips

  • Boolean Operators (And, Or, Not): Combine search terms to narrow or broaden results.
  • Keyword:  Use important words or phrases.
  • Phrase (“”):  Quotation marks can be used to enclose a particular phrase for searching.  For example, enclose the title “The Old Man and the Sea” to retrieve results with that particular phrase.  Otherwise, the database will search Old and Man and Sea separately.
  • Subject:  Describes the content of each item in a database.  For example, the subject heading Education Technology would be more effective than teaching with technology.
  • Truncation (*):  The “*” replaces any number of characters and will find all forms of a root word.  For example, “therap*” finds therapy, therapies, therapist, therapists, therapeutic, therapeutically, etc.
  • Wildcard (#):  The “#” replaces any extra characters that may appear in alternative spellings. For example, “colo#r” finds both color and colour.
  • Wildcard (?): The “?” replaces one character, for example “ne?t” finds neat, nest, or next, but will not find net.

Selection of Databases

Access EBSCOhost on the library’s website under Research Tools in the Database A-Z List.  You will see the menu appear.  Click on the link to EBSCOhost Web- ALL databases.

Select subject specific databases or click on the checkbox below the CONTINUE button that says SELECT/DESELECT ALL.

Basic Search

  1. Enter your search terms in the Find field on the Basic Search screen.
  2. Click the Search Options link, if you would like to use any of the optional Limiters or Expanders.  To close the Search Options, click the link again.
  3. Select a specific Mode such as “Find all of my search terms” or “Smart Text Searching”.
  4. Apply Limiters such as Full Text or Publication date.
  5. Click the Search button.  The Result List displays.

Advanced Search

  1. Click the Advanced Search link below the Find field.
  2. Enter your search terms in the first Find field on the Advanced Search screen.
  3. Choose the search field from the optional Select a Field drop-down list (for example, search in only the Subject Terms field of the citation).
  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the second set of Find fields.
  5. Select a Boolean operator (AND< OR< NOT) to combine the two Find field entries.
  6. You can enter another Boolean operator, keyword, and search field in the third set of fields.
  7. If you need additional rows, click the Plus button.  Up to 12 rows can be displayed.  To delete a row, click the Minus button.
  8. Select the available Search Options:
  • Search modes: Use specific search modes such as “Find all my search terms”, “SmartText Searching”, or use search options that expand your search such as “Apply related words”.
  • Limit your results: Such as Full Text, Publication Type, or Publication Date.
  • Special Limiters: Apply limiters specific to a database.  If you select a special limiter, it is applied only to the database under which it appears.
  1.  Click the Search button.  The Result List displays.

Reading the Search Results

  1. To the right of the article link, hover the cursor over the paper with magnifying glass icon.  This provides the citation and abstract information.  This will help you determine if this title is relevant to your topic.

2.  Pay attention to the SUBJECTS Heading to get ideas for other search strings.  For example, if your original search was Texas school finance, some of the subject headings in the result list include: school budgets, educational finance, Robin Hood, bond elections, finance reform, etc.

3.  To quickly download an article, click on the PDF Full Text link underneath the title in the results list.

4.  Remember that you can refine your search by adjusting the limiters, source types, publication date, etc. on the tool menu on the left side of the results list.

5.  Click on one of the titles to display.

Record Display

  1. The Detailed Record display provides citation information in addition to links to subject terms and author supplied keywords to generate a new search.

  1. The PDF view displays the article. Hover over the bottom right of the article to display a menu that gives options to PAN, ZOOM, SAVE, and PRINT.

Saving Search Results

  1. To save an entire search, click on Search History under the search box.
  2. Select the checkbox of the search(es) you want to save.
  3. Click on Save Searches/Alerts.








  1. Enter a Name of the Search/Alert, Description, Permanent or Temporary, Alert Status.
  2. Click Save.
  3. View the saved search in your Folder under Saved Searches.


Saving Articles

  1. In the Search Results display, quickly add an article to a folder by clicking on the folder icon to the right of the title.  If Custom Folders are created you will be able to select which folder the article should be saved.  Otherwise, the saved article appears in your main Folder.