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.