How to Use EBSCOhost Databases

EBSCOhost databases include Academic Search Premier, ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, Business Source Premier, Communication & Mass Media Complete, ERIC, International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text, Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA), Philosopher's Index, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, MLA Directory of Periodicals, MLA International Bibliography, and Regional Business News.

All eleven of these databases are searched using the same basic interface, with some minor variations. When conducting research, select the Ebsco database most relevant to your subject. This guide will highlight Academic Search Premier and serve as an overview on how to use the search interface.

1. From the Library homepage, select the link for "Articles and Databases":

2. On the main database page, all databases are listed in alphabetical order. Scroll down and select the database you wish to use, in this case Academic Search Premier:

3. The main search page is seen in the image below. A multitude of search functions and limiting options exist on this page. It is up to you to determine how best to use these options when conducting your research. Starting clockwise at the top left and looking at the circled functions, take note of 1) three search boxes to allow for multiple, simultaneous keyword searches, 2) search limiters to specify that searches look in specific fields such as author, title, keyword anywhere, etc., 3) the ability to limit searches to documents published within a certain date range, 4) the ability to limit a search to a particular type of resource such as a newspaper or magazine, 5) the ability to limit to a specific type of document such as an article, book review, editorial, etc., 6) limiting searches to scholarly or peer-reviewed articles, and 7) limiting searches to articles that the database maintains as full text articles:

4. The search boxes are used as you would use a search engine, by entering in a keyword or keywords and selecting a specific field to search. As an example, let's do a search for "global warming" in the "Title" field from the year 2000 to present and limit to scholarly, full text articles only:

5. The search results appear on the next screen. Notice that the search terms "global warming" appear in dark blue italics and only in the article titles (since we specified that the search only look inside titles):

6. At this point, you will need to scroll through the titles to find those that appeal to you based on your research needs. Let's take a look at the 2nd article that appears on the results list. Clicking on the title link will take you to a page with the full citation. The "PDF Full Text" link will take you directly to the text of the article (as will the "HTML Full Text" link). If you wish to save the article and continue looking through others, then use the "Add to folder" link to save the article. All articles placed in this folder can be accessed from the "Folder" button located at the top of the interface. For now, let's look at what happens when the title link is accessed:

7. The complete record of the article is shown in the next screen. In looking at the circled functions and moving clockwise from the top left, you will notice 1) a link to the PDF full text of the article, 2) buttons that permit you to print, save, or e-mail the article to yourself, 3) a folder button to save the article into a research folder, 4) an abstract, which summarizes the article and should let you know whether or not it would be useful to you, and 5) subject terms related to the article. Clicking on any one of the subject term links will generate a search for articles on that specific subject:

8. The e-mail option allows you to e-mail the article to yourself along with a citation in formats such as Chicago, APA, and MLA:

These e-mailed articles sometimes end up in junk mail folders, so be sure to check there for them. Also, be careful when cutting and pasting the citation in a paper bibliography, as they are not always correctly formatted. Always double check!

9. Looking back at the original screen shot of search results, you will notice a list of subject terms on the left hand side of the screen. Clicking on any of these terms will cause the database to generate a new search by adding the subject term to your original search:

10. Clicking on the subject term for "GORE, Albert, 1948-" will produce the following screen of results:

11. The search example demonstrated above was set to return full text articles only. If you do not limit your search to "Full text" at the outset, then you may have articles returned for which you have only the citation, and not full text of the article. See this example below, where you will notice that the circled article does not show a "HTML full text" or "PDF full text" link. In their place you will see a link named "Check Article Linker for more information":

12. Clicking that link will search the Library's other databases for this very same article, producing a screen similar to the one below. If the article is available in the Library's other databases, you will see an "Article" link (possibly more than one):

13. Select the "Article" link to be taken to the article inside another database, in this case Proquest Newsstand. This screen below shows the full text of the article in Proquest:

For more information on how to search the EBSCOhost databases, please see their extensive help page.

When doing your homework and research, always feel free to stop by the Library Reference desk to seek assistance from a librarian, call us at (904)-819-6331, or e-mail us at for help.