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EBSCO database search strategies

Get better search results in EBSCO with these tips!

AUPhillips Library

on 19 February 2014

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Transcript of EBSCO database search strategies

EBSCO database search strategies
Not getting the results you want or need from your searches in EBSCO?
Let's look at some ways to improve your search!
Phrase Searching
Used to group search terms together so that they are searched as a phrase.
Truncation and Wildcards
Field codes
Search in EBSCO using its two-digit abbreviations for important parts of an article citation. Field codes may change between EBSCO databases, but common ones include:
Phrase searching
Field codes
Boolean operators
Example: "bilingual education" will return results with the terms together

bilingual education will return results where terms are present, but not necessarily together
Different databases use different symbols. Some of the most common are:
* (asterisk)
# (pound sign/hashtag)
? (question mark)
Finding plurals:
search teacher* and training,
and find information on "training teachers"
and "teacher training"
Spelling questions:
Not sure how to spell Azerbaijan?
Use Azer*
American vs. British English
Search for theat* to get results with
theater or theatre
Finding related concepts that are
spelled similarly (have the same root)
Searching child* would find: child,
child's, children, children's, childhood
SU or DE (subject heading or descriptor - EBSCO uses these to create categories for articles)
AU (author)
TI (article title)
JN or SO (journal title)
How does this look in EBSCO?
How does this look in EBSCO?
Boolean Operators
Connect your search terms to narrow or broaden your set of results.
Why use them?
To focus a search, particularly when you're using multiple terms
To connect various pieces of information to find exactly what you're looking for
Using AND
Use AND in a search to:
narrow your results
tell the database that ALL search terms must be present in the results
Example: bilingual education AND motivation
bilingual education
bilingual education
You may want to use phrase searching (quotation marks) to make your results more specific.
Using OR
Use OR in a search to:
connect two or more similar concepts (synonyms)
broaden your results, telling the database that ANY of your search terms can be present in the resulting records
Example: bilingual education OR multilingual education
bilingual education
multilingual education
all results will contain one, or both, terms
Using NOT
Use NOT in a search to:
exclude words from your search
narrow your search, telling the database to ignore concepts that may be implied by your search terms
Example: bilingual education NOT multilingual education
Similar to truncation, wildcards substitute a symbol for one letter of a word.
This is useful if a word is spelled in different ways, but still has the same meaning.

Examples: wom!n = woman, women
colo?r = color, colour

EBSCO uses the * for truncation
and the ? for wildcards.
Questions? Ask a Librarian!
Visit us at Phillips Library
Chat with us online: http://aurora.libanswers.com/
Text us: 630.708.6135
Call us: 630.844.7534
Email us: libref@aurora.edu
Full transcript