UCC Library: Searching EBSCOHost

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A quick presentation on how to use EBSCOHost to search for articles more effectively for college students.

A quick presentation on how to use EBSCOHost to search for articles more effectively for college students.

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  • 1. Searching EBSCOHost- Basics 06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 2. Searching EBSCOHost- contents
    • Create a basic search that returns the type of article results you need,
    • Narrow or expand a set of results based on your topic and its related subjects.
    • Email, save, print, and generate preformatted citations for articles you locate in the database,
    • Set up a search alert to have EBSCO send results to your email or feed reader automatically.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library This presentation will introduce some of the basic search functions available through EBSCOHost, an online article database. You will learn how to:
  • 3. Why use a subscription database like EBSCO for your research ?
    • EBSCOHost is an online article index , which means it hosts articles and magazines, journals, and newspapers that were originally in print . Articles are often more current than book resources on the same topic, as well.
    • These articles have a good level of authority (being edited resources), and in the case of peer-reviewed academic journals , excellent authority in their subject fields.
    • Often, you would need to pay to view these articles online, but the UCC Library is subscribes so UCC students, faculty, and staff can have open access to these resources for academic work.
    • And last, but not least, subscription databases like EBSCO work with academic researchers in mind– you can find citations already formatted in the style you need, sort your results by many useful categories, and save the article easily for later access from your email or flash drive.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library Sound good ? Let’s get started ! 
  • 4. EBSCO: Choose Databases screen
    • After choosing EBSCOHost Databases from the UCCLife “Library” tab , you have the option of selecting a subject-specific or multi-disciplinary database. Go ahead and choose Academic Search Premier for our demonstration– but take some time on your own later to look at the list and see if there’s a database specific to your topic as well!
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 5. Basic Search Options
    • Once you choose Academic Search Premier and click “continue,” you should see the Basic Search Screen . Type your search keywords into the text bar, and notice the limiters available below!
    • Continue on to the next slide for more detail on these limiter options.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 6. Basic Search limiter options
    • Search modes- you can…
      • Choose to enter the Boolean terms yourself. Boolean terms include “and,” “or,” “not.”
        • Want to practice with Boolean searching? Try
      • Choose to have EBSCOHost add the “and” or the “or” Boolean terms for you automatically
      • Notice that if you’re not sure what an option means, you can click on the (?) symbol for help.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 7. Basic Search cont.
    • UCC Magazine and Journal Subscriptions
    • Full Text
      • These two check boxes let you control the access level of the results. Leaving both blank means you will get database results where the full article is only available in another library.
      • You can request an interlibrary loan, but remember that these items take time to come through the mail (and will be delivered to the UCC Library). If you are on a tight deadline, make sure to check the full text limiter! (And the UCC…Subscriptions one, if you live in Douglas County.)
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 8. Basic Search- other limiters
    • Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals
      • This option is very important if you’re looking for scholarly works within an academic field. Checking this box will limit results to only peer-reviewed journals.
    • Publication (Title), Date Range, Number of Pages
      • More options to customize your results. Feel free to play with these and try them out! (You cannot “break” anything, so don’t worry about it!)
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 9. Results Screen
    • Lots of things going on in this screen, the best of which– my search found results! Hooray! All…203 of them…. Hmm. I probably want to narrow my results a bit more, but luckily, I can do that easily from here.
    • See the next couple of slides for more details.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 10. Results screen- publication type & subject limiters
    • Once you have your results, you can use the options on the left and right panels to narrow or expand your pool of retrieved articles. On the left, you have the option under Source Types (1) to choose results from a particular type of periodical- magazines, journals, newspapers. Under Subject (2) , you can also choose to make your search narrower by selecting one of these subject headings to add to your search string.
    • For instance, in this search, if I only wanted to see the articles on Harry Potter AND Christopher Paolini, I would click on Paolini’s name.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 11. Results screen- date, access, and other search options
    • On the right panel, there are options to select or deselect Full Text or UCC Magazine & Journal Subscription (1) results; these are the same limiters as on the starting search screen. The sliding Date Range (2) bar lets you narrow or expand the time period within which your results were published. And clicking on the Search Options (3) link brings up a pop-up window with the full range of limiter options that were on the starting search screen.
    • Remember to hit “Update Results” (4) once you’ve made your choices to see the new results.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 12. Results screen- main panel
    • This section shows the essence of your search- the results. Notice there is a total # of the articles found at the top right, with an RSS button below it (more on RSS in a minute). At the left top, it is telling you how the results are sorted in the list, with the default being “date” (most recent first).
    • The results themselves include an article title (1) linked to the citation page, an abstract (2) that summarizes what the article is about and includes the accession number , and a link to the full text or notes about availability at the UCC Library (3) as a print issue. Click on this full text link to actually read the article, the abstract is just a summary!
      • If the entry says “UCC subscribes to this title,” (3) the library has print issues of the last 5-10 years on the shelf and you can come in and photocopy the article.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 13. “ Citation” Page, top
    • Clicking on the title of an article will bring up this page, which includes much useful information about the article itself.
    • Because EBSCOHost is an online article index , you can always find out information about where and when the article originally appeared in print (1) .
    • Also notice the links on this page- including the subject terms (2) . Clicking on any of these will run a search in the database for every article on that topic (just like the subject headings in the UCC Library catalog does for library items). You will need to reset any limiters (“full text,” etc), but can do that easily from the results screen. (See slide #10)
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 14. “ Citation” page, top-- continued
    • The icons at the top-right of this citation panel are also important- this is where you can print (1), email (2), and save (3) your article!
    • The yellow “page” icon links to preformatted citations in MLA, APA, and other popular formats (4) for the article itself…
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 15. Citation options- preformatted
    • … and yes, you can just cut-and-paste! Congratulations on living in the future, as this is roughly a thousand times easier than the old method for compiling a “Works Cited” list.
    • Note that once you copy the citation you may need to make a few changes in your own work, especially if you’re citing in MLA format, which requires the library and location in the citation.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 16. “ Citation” Page, bottom
    • At the bottom of the citation page you can find the persistent link (1) to the article, a web address which will bring you directly back to that article in the future. Another unique identifier is the accession number (2), which you can use as a search term to pull up the article in future searches on the same database . Accession numbers do not work across different services the way ISBN numbers do for book titles.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 17. Setting up Search Alerts / Simple Syndication (RSS)
    • In addition to researching actively within the database, many subscription databases (and search engines) have settings which let you set up services to automatically send you a message if new items show up that match your topic. This type of service is called a search alert , and EBSCOHost offers alerts by both email and RSS.
    • RSS stands for “really simple syndication,” and if you have a feed reader set up, you can see the new database search results there along with your other feeds. There is lots of information on feeds available online , but for now just know it’s an option.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 18. Step 1: Saved Searches– create the search
    • The first step is to create the search you want to set an alert for, using the limiters and techniques we covered in previous slides. Once you’re on the results screen, choose the Alert / Save / Share > (1) link on the upper-right side of the main panel. Alternately, you can just click on the universal “RSS” icon (2) on the left.
    • This will open the Search History panel (3) , an area where you can see all the searches you’ve done in the database in this session so far, from which you can then choose the Save Searches / Alerts (4) link.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 19. Step 2: Saved Searches– create a “MyEBSCO” account (free)
    • Creating an EBSCOHost “MyEBSCO” account is free and will allow you to save search results and items in the “folder” even between database sessions.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 20. Step 3: Saved Searches– set your alert options
    • Once you’re logged into the MyEBSCO service, you’ll have the ability to customize your alert: give it a specific title, set the time limit if saving the search (how long do you want to keep these results?), and set up an alert. We want this last option.
    • Notice the “Alert” radio button option is next to “Save Search as:”
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 21. Step 3 cont. – Search Alert options
    • You can choose how long to receive results, where results are sent (email, RSS feed, both), and what format the results come as (HTML link? Plain text email?). Last, but not least, hit Save and your search alert is set! Sit back, let EBSCO find the new results and send them to you, and congratulate yourself on what an awesome researcher you are.
    • You can also set up an alert for an entire journal, so that when the full text of a new issue is available on EBSCO, you receive an email with all the articles linked automatically.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 22. Accession Number
    • Alternately, if you just want to save a few articles, but do not have a flash drive with you, writing down the database title (1) and accession number (2) is an easy way to return to them later. Each accession number is unique to its article within its own database.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 23. Locating an article by Accession Numbers
    • Notice that the “Accession Number” option is available under Advanced Search , NOT the starting Basic Search screen. You can get to Advanced Search by choosing it below the search text bar on the basic search screen.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 24. Accession Search Results
    • You do not need to set any other search limiters when searching by accession number. Because it is unique, it will bring up the exact article within the database anyway.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library
  • 25. Questions?
    • Katie Cunnion, UCC Reference Librarian
    • email: katherine.cunnion [at] umpqua.edu
    • phone: (541) 440.7681 ( or the front desk at: (541) 440.4640)
    • Available at the library M-F 8 am – 5 pm PST during Fall, Winter, and Spring terms.
    06/07/09 Umpqua Community College Library