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How To Use EBSCOhost Databases: Home

How To Use EBSCOhost Databases

Dozens of the library's databases are on the EBSCOhost platform, and all of them use the same interface.

Before You Begin

If you are unfamiliar with accessing the college's research databases or entering your college login, review How To Access Library Databases.

To Access EBSCOhost:

Screenshot of EBSCOhost choose a database page

  1. Go to library's home page at www.esc.edu/library.
  2. Click Article Databases
  3. Scroll down the alphabetical list and click on EBSCOhost.
  4. Enter your college login and password.
  5. That will take you to a page that lists and describes all the EBSCO databases. Check off as many databases as you want and click the Continue button down at the bottom.

You can also use the Article Databases list to search a single EBSCO database at a time by clicking on its name, such as Academic Search Complete, Business Source Complete, etc.

Basic Search

Screenshot of EBSCOhost basic search screen

When you first log into an EBSCO database you will see the Basic Search box. Type your search into the box and click the Search button.

Search tips:

Screenshot of EBSCOhost basic search with keywords typed in

  • Put quotation marks around any search phrase or exact combination of keywords (e.g.; "United States of America" or "social psychology").
  • Use AND between two keywords or phrases to search for articles containing both terms. (e.g.; Sumatra and tsunami).
  • Use OR between keywords to search for articles containing either term (e.g.; teaching or pedagogy).
  • For more information about keyword searching with Boolean Operators, see Using AND, OR & NOT to Combine Keywords.

Advanced Search

Screenshot of EBSCO advanced search

To get to the advanced search screen, click the Advanced Search link right under the Basic Search box.

  1. Each of the three search boxes has a Select a Field pull-down menu to the right of it.
    • TX (all text) - this is the same as a keyword search in Basic Search
    • AU (author) - the author of the article
    • TI (title) - the title of the article
    • SO (source) - the title of the journal that the article is in
    • SU (subject terms) - controlled vocabulary.
    • For more information about that, see Controlled Vocabulary.
  2. Pull-down menus to the left of the search boxes allow you to join the search boxes with AND, OR or NOT.
    • You can still use AND, OR, NOT, quotation marks and parentheses inside the search boxes the same way you would in Basic Search.
    • By default, EBSCOhost puts an AND in between the search boxes. You can use the pull-down menus to to change it.
    • Boolean-savvy users: EBSCOhost treats each search box like a giant set of parentheses. 
  3. You can limit your search to articles that are Scholarly (Peer Reviewed).
  4. You can limit your search to articles that are available in full-text without having to go into other databases. (But you run the risk of never finding out about articles that you could have gotten from other databases.)
  5. You can limit your search to articles that were published within a certain date range

These options are also available as filters on your search results page!

Search Results List

Screenshot of EBSCO search results list

  1. Your search results page will display 50 search results per page, by default. If there is more than one page of search results, you will see page numbers at the top and bottom so you can look at all of them.
    • Search results are displayed in reverse chronological order - the newest ones are listed first.
  2. To the left of each search result you'll see an icon telling you what kind of document it is - article from an academic journal, article from a magazine, conference proceedings, case study, etc.
  3. Beneath each search result is information on how to get the full-text of the article (the whole thing that you can read). More on that later.
  4. On the left side of the search results page is a blue column of options to filter your search results:
    • Filter by a publication date range.
    • Filter by scholarly (peer reviewed) (gets rid of magazine and newspaper articles, conference proceedings, etc.)
    • Filter by full-text (gets rid of search results that aren't in full-text in this database). Think twice before using this option because it's very easy to find out if the full-text is available in another database. More on that later! 
  5. The title of the article is a link to the Article Information page.

Article Information

Screenshot of EBSCO article information page

Click on the title of the article to get to the Article Information page, where you will find:

  1. Authors, journal name, volume, issue, page numbers, publication date, etc.
  2. Abstract, which is a summary of the article's content. Read this before you spend too much time trying to locate or read the full-text!
  3. Print/Save/Export so you will have a copy of the article without having to search for it in the database again.
  4. A permalink, which you need to use if you want to save the link to come back to the article, or share the article with someone else. For more information about that, see How To Create a Permalink to an Article in a Library Database.
  5. How to cite the article in multiple citation styles.
  6. Link to full-text, or Article Linker if full-text is not available in this database. More on that later!

Finding Full-text

Finding Full-text 

Screenshot of EBSCOhost search results with full-text and article linker links highlighted

Screenshot of EBSCOhost article info page with full-text link highlighted

On the search results page, you will see the full-text link right below each search result. 

On the article information page, you will see the full-text link at the top left corner of the page. 

PDF full-text or HTML full-text

When the article is available in the database, you will see a little icon for it.

  • PDF full-text has the exact same appearance as the print version. 
  • HTML full-text has the same words and images, but the layout is like a web-page.

"Check for full-text availability in all library collections" 

Most databases index, or list, more content than they actually have in full-text. While this can be frustrating, it's useful because at least it lets you know those documents exist out there somewhere. Often, they exist right in our library, just in a different database. That's where Article Linker comes in. Article Linker is a behind-the-scenes tool that will link you to the full-text wherever it occurs. 

Whenever there is no full-text available for an article in the database you are searching, you'll see the link "Check for full-text availability in all library collections." Click it and one of two things will happen:

  • If we have the article in another library database, you'll be taken right to it.
  • If we don't have the article, you'll be taken to a page that says we don't have it. 

Your Librarians

Sarah Morehouse's picture
Sarah Morehouse

Please note: If you need to request accommodations with content linked to on this guide, on the basis of a disability, please contact Disability Services by emailing them at Disability.Services@esc.edu.  Requests for accommodations should be submitted as early as possible to allow for sufficient planning. If you have questions, please visit the disability services website http://www.esc.edu/disabilityservices.

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