Basic Search Tips for Any Library Database
Searching an EBSCOhost Database
The screenshots for this tutorial are for SocINDEX with Full Text, but you can use the same strategy for any EBSCOhost database. Let's say I am interested in gender portrayals in sports advertising. I brainstormed keywords for gender, sports, advertising, and portrayals.
Type in your search terms.
I have 61 results -- that's not too bad, but we can narrow further. The database wants to help us narrow down. Note the various limiters on the left side:
Reviewing Your Results
Once you have limited your results to something reasonable (15-50 is good), skim the title of the article. Sound intriguing? Then click on the title to read the entire description, especially the abstract (summary of the article). Is the article still intriguing? Then save it by emailing it to yourself (on the right side of the full record).
With the articles that appear relevant, also note the subject headings given. If the terminology is different from your search terms, or the subject headings you limited to, then you can find other possibly relevant articles by using newly discovered synonyms. (For instance, I noted the term genderism in my results, a word I hadn't considered initially.)
Finding the Full Text
When you are searching in one of the library databases and the article in question isn't available full text right there, look for the icon or hyperlink that says Check for Full Text.
Step 1: If the article is available online, it will say Fulltext available at the top. (It looks like a hyperlink, but it is a link to take you to the page you're already on.) Under View It, you will see links to the databases that have the article. In the example above the article is available in Sage Premier 2014.
Step 2: If the article is not available full text, it will say Check availability. To see if we have it in print or microfilm, scroll down and click Find in a Library. If we do have at least one issue of the source, the page will look like the image below. Note:
Step 3: If the article is not available full text, and we do not have it in print/microfilm, click the link Request this article using Interlibrary Loan (in the middle under Can't find it? -- see image above). You will need to log in using your NetID/SSO. Verify that the fields were filled out correctly and click the red Submit Request button. Articles usually take around 5 days. You will be notified via your EWU email that the article is available for you to download. (Directions are in the email.)