Search Like a Pro: 4 Tips for Searching EBSCO Databases

Whether you’re working on your first research paper at DePaul or are already a seasoned researcher, you may be wondering how to get better results from your EBSCO searches. Log in to Academic Search Complete or your favorite EBSCO database, and check out these librarian-approved search tips!

1. Set Limits – Look at the left side of your Results page to see different ways to limit your search and find exactly what you need. Filter out older (or newer) articles by sliding the Publication Date bar to an appropriate year, or scroll down to the Language filter to view only articles in English (or the language of your choice from Chinese to Czech). Use the Source Types limit if you’re just looking for academic journals (or newspapers, magazines, or trade publications).Refine Results Panel Screenshot

2. Try Truncating – Did you know that the asterisk symbol can be used to truncate keywords? This is a quick and easy way to broaden your search and find articles that use different forms of the same word. Try typing the word laugh* into the search box; your results will include the keywords laugh, as well as laughter and laughing.

3. Combine Databases – Get more results by searching across multiple databases simultaneously. Click on Choose Databases and select any of the databases related to your topic. For a search on anxiety in students, you might combine Academic Search Complete with PsycInfo and Education Research Complete to get more results with just one search.Choose Databases Screenshot

4. Create a Personal Account – Click Sign In in the upper right corner to create a personal account across all EBSCO databases. When logged into your personal account, you’ll be able to save articles to folders for different projects, save and re-run that perfect search, and even create search alerts so you’ll be notified when new results become available for a search.

DePaul Librarians are expert searchers, and we’d be happy to share more of our favorite tips and search strategies. To talk with a DePaul Librarian about your research, stop by the Research Help Desk, use our online Ask A Librarian services, or Make an Appointment for a one-on-one research consultation. Happy searching!

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