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Searching EBSCOhost. A guide to searching and retrieving information from the EBSCOhost Databases. What is EBSCOhost?.

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Searching ebscohost
Searching EBSCOhost

A guide to searching and retrieving information from the EBSCOhost Databases

What is ebscohost
What is EBSCOhost?

EBSCOhost is a powerful online reference system accessible via the Internet. The NWOSU library subscribes to many databases through EBSCO. You can search these databases to find journal, magazine, and newspaper articles. The goal of this tutorial is to demonstrate how you can use EBSCOhost to find the materials you need.

Access ebscohost
Access EBSCOhost

You can access EBSCOhost quickly from the library's homepage by clicking on the “EBSCOhost Databases” link under .

The ebsco portal
The EBSCO Portal

Jump to a full list of the EBSCO Databases by clicking the first link in the EBSCO portal.

Choose your database
Choose Your Database

EBSCO provides a list of general and specialized databases as well as details about the contents of each.

Academic Search Complete is usually an excellent starting point for general research.

Basic keyword search

Once you choose a database, a search screen will appear. The search screen allows you to search the contents of the database for information on your topic.

EBSCO searches the chosen database records for the words and phrases you enter in the search fields.

Basic results
Basic Results

EBSCO sorts the results in descending order by publication date. The most recent articles are displayed first.

You can sort the results by date, author, or relevance.

This toolbar lets you narrow your search even more

Your next step is to refine your search. This will decrease the number of results and allow you to find material more relevant to your topic.

Refine your search

Start refining your search by moving to the Advanced Search screen.

Refine your search1

For fewer and more relevant results, refine your search using Boolean Operators and Advanced Search Fields.

Boolean Operators separate or combine search terms.

Advanced Search Fields allow you to specify how EBSO should look for your keyword.

Subject search

Using the Advanced Search Fields can help you streamline your search.

The “Subject Terms” option is especially useful as the terminology in EBSCO and your own may not be exactly the same. Using the “Subject Terms” option allows you to clarify your search and find more relevant results.

Type your keyword or phrase , choose “Subject Terms” from the dropdown menu and click “search.”

Narrow results by subject

EBSCO provides more specific subject terms for you to choose from when bringing up the results of your search.

Clicking a subject link will take you to a new list of results pertaining to that subject.



In EBSCO, you can limit your search results and make them more specific to your individual research needs. Limiters can be found on the main Advanced Search screen.

You can use as many or as few limiters as needed to narrow and refine your search.

Limiters defined
Limiters Defined

Full text asks EBSCO to limit your results to those records that appear full text on the internet and can be read on the computer and printed for further use.

EBSCO allows you to limit the results within a certain time frame. You can also pick a publication to look for specific results.

NOTE: This option limits the results to ONLY those records that might be available from one of the campus library collections.

You can also have EBSCO tell you if the record might be available in a paper copy from one of the NWOSU libraries.

Use the scroll bars to see more options in these areas.

Limiting allows any number of options to refine your search and streamline information.

Citation view
Citation View

To find detailed information about any article, click on the title and then the link for “detailed record” to the left of the first page that loads. The detailed record lists information about the article and often includes a brief abstract which summarizes the article.

The links in citation view jump to a list of articles by the same author…

…or other articles under the same subject terms.

The abstract summarizes the article.

Item availability in the library

Sometimes there will be no full text link for an article, only the citation information. If the note “we subscribe to this magazine” appears, it means that the article is possibly available at NWOSU Libraries.

Source information
Source Information

The citation information for the article should appear right beneath the title. Otherwise, use the citation view as discussed before to get the information you need.

Go to the library homepage and use the NWOSU Online Catalog to find out if the issue of the journal you need is available in the library.

Journal titles in the library catalog
Journal Titles in the Library Catalog

The NWOSU Library Online Catalog will help in your journal search.

Access the catalog from the library homepage and search for the title of a journal listed in EBSCO.

Journal title keyword search
Journal Title Keyword Search

Do a “Journal Title” search in the library catalog to find out if an NWOSU Library holds the journal you are looking for.

Library catalog information
Library Catalog Information

The information in the catalog will tell you what issues are on the shelf and what library they are available from.

Journals are shelved alphabetically by title in the reference or anex section of the library.


Some titles and holdings are not listed in the catalog, so check the shelves if the catalog does not give you enough information. If you cannot find the journal or newspaper title in the catalog or on the shelves, ask the reference assistant for help.

Title search in ebsco
Title Search in EBSCO

You can limit your search in EBSCO to find articles containing the search terms in the article title only.

This is especially helpful if you are searching for a title in a specific journal.

Journal name search in ebsco

A journal name search is a way of searching for articles within a specific magazine or journal.

It is useful to include another search such as a subject term or title search. Otherwise, EBSCO will pull up every article that has ever been published by the specified journal.

Results of a journal name search
Results of a Journal Name Search

When you do a Journal Name Search, all of your results will be from the journal you named as a source.

Saving searches to a folder
Saving Searches to a Folder

You may want to save searches for later use or create a list of items to request for inter-library loan. To do so, you must save them to a folder in EBSCO .

You can add a record to a folder by clicking the available icon from the search screen.

Adding a record to your folder
Adding a Record to Your Folder

You can also add a record to a folder by clicking the link available in the citation view.

Creating a my ebscohost folder
Creatinga “My EBSCOhost” folder

To permanently save searches for further use, you must create a “My EBSCOhost” folder.

The main folder link on the results page will take you to the temporary folder you have created by adding items.

Click the link for “My EBSCOhost” to save your search results and create a permanent folder.

My ebscohost new user information
My EBSCOhost New User Information

Click the “new account” link on the My EBSCOhost login screen.

Fill out the information requested in the “new account” section and you will have created an account that you can access any time when using EBSCO. The items you save in your account will remain there until you choose to remove them.

Requesting an article in ebsco through interlibrary loan
Requesting an Article in EBSCO through Interlibrary Loan

If an article is unavailable in full text format or from one of the NWOSU libraries, it may be available through interlibrary loan. You can put in a request to NWOSU Library do an ILL search on the article for you.

Click the ILL link available with many listings.

Information for interlibrary loan
Information for Interlibrary Loan

When your click ILL hyperlink, the EBSCO system automatically links the citation information to an outgoing e-mail.

Just fill out your personal contact information and click “submit” at the bottom of the screen. A librarian will contact you about your item.

Tips and pointers
Tips and Pointers

When beginning your research, acquire as much basic information as possible about your topic before attempting to search EBSCO for supporting materials. Books in the library, dictionaries, and encyclopedias are a good way to familiarize yourself with the topic you are studying.

Read the descriptions of the EBSCO databases – some of the databases are for specialized areas of study (such as health or education) and may be helpful to your research (or hinder it if you are searching in the wrong database).

If you are having problems or there is something you don’t understand, please ask any of the NWOSU library staff.

A few more
A Few More

Do not attempt to input your entire topic phrase into the EBSCO search. If your topic is something like “depression and teen pregnancy,” inserting that phrase into EBSCO may not bring up the results you were hoping for. Break the topic down and do subject searches for keywords (such as depression or adolescence). This will allow you to look through a broader range of EBSCO results and narrow your search by linking to other headings.

Don’t spread your search out over too many databases. Stay with about two – three at the most.

Restricting your search to find only full text articles may cause you to miss some relevant items that are available from one of the NWOSU libraries.

Before you interlibrary loan an article, make sure you check the library catalog for local holdings. NWOSU Libraries may have a physical copy of the article.