How to Perform a Database Search in EBSCO

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  • 1.HERSHEY PUBLIC LIBRARYHow to Perform aDatabase Search

2. Introduction This tutorial will show you how to do a basicsearch using the EBSCO databases available through the Hershey Public Library homepage. The website is available at www.hersheylibrary.org 3. Databases Select an appropriate database for your subject. On the Hershey Public Library home page, youwill see icons for the databases made available. They are located on the right handside of the page. Each different database will allow you toselect databases by subject. 4. Science Reference Center A research database that provides access to full-text science-oriented content. It contains information from hundreds of encyclopedias, reference books, periodicals and other sources. 5. Biography Reference Center Offers a comprehensive collection of more than 461,000 full-text biographies such as actors,authors, composers, explorers, figures relevant toU.S. and world history, inventors, musicians, Presidents, current leaders and many more. 6. Literary Reference Center A comprehensive database that providesinformation on thousands of authors and their works. It is a full-text database that combines information from major reference works, books and literary journals. 7. History Reference Center The worlds most comprehensive full-text historyreference database that features full text for morethan 1,990 reference books, encyclopedias, and non-fiction books from leading publishers. It also includes full text for more than 150 historyperiodicals and 57,000 historical documents. 8. To login to a database you mustenter the barcode number on the back of your librarycardPlease contact your library administratorto obtain a Patron IDPatron ID 290105457775 LoginSupported BrowsersRecommended minimum screen resolution: 1024x768 9. This is the Home Page of the Science Database 10. Database Searching Think carefully about the terms you type intothe search box. Too many search terms might cause you toretrieve no references or very few. Too few search terms might retrieve too manyreferences. Incorrect spelling will cause problems in yoursearch. 11. Describe Your Search Topic Think of a question, a phrase or a sentencethat includes all the important aspects orconcepts of your topic. Break up your search topic or theme intokeywords. In most databases you can searchsimply by using keywords. Keep your search simple. 12. What you are Searching Some databases search the full text referencesthat they contain. Other databases only search abrief description, or summary of the references. If you are searching a full-text database, you willbe able to search on very specific terms. If you are searching a database that only hassummaries (abstracts) of the references, you mayhave to use fewer terms and less specific terms. 13. This is the home page of the Magazine Database. On it you will see different typesof search options available such as find any of my search terms, advancedsearch, and SmartText searching. 14. Modify Your Search Strategy Occasionally you may need to modify yoursearch term(s). Look over the records you retrieve. If you retrieve irrelevant records, thenre-examine your topic or change the keywordyou have chosen. 15. Connectors or Boolean Operators Connectors are sometimes called BooleanOperators . They are used to combine searchterms. There are three connectors: AND, OR,NOT. AND placed between words means thateither, or all, words(s) may appear in each reference. This will narrow your search. For example, circus AND clowns will retrieve all references which contain both terms. 16. Boolean Operator OR The Boolean operator OR placed between words means that either, or all, words(s) mayappear in each reference. This will broaden your search. For example, earthquake OR seismology will retrieve all references with earthquake orseismology. As well as references with bothterms. 17. Boolean Operator NOT The Boolean operator NOT between wordsmeans that the second word must not appearin any reference. This will narrow your search. For example, toxic NOT radioactive willretrieve all references with toxic, except references which include radioactive. Use of the NOT connector may exclude usefulreferences. 18. Truncation Truncation symbols (also called wildcards) vary from database to database. Truncate words to retrieve all the alternative terms. For example, comput* will retrieve computer,computers, computate, and computation. Other symbols used are ? and #. 19. Phrase Searching Some databases assume that a string of wordsshould be searched as a phrase and it will only retrieve references in which the words occurside by side or in a very close proximity. It may be useful to force the database to search words as a phrase. You can do this by enclosing the terms inquotation marks, for example, informationtechnology. 20. Additional Databases The Hershey Public Library also has additionaldatabases that may be of use that are not partof EBSCO Publishing. 21. Help If you should need additional help with findinginformation available through the library website or in searching the databases, please be sure to ask our Reference Librarians. 22. References EBSCO Publishing. (n.d.) Retrieved April 23,2012, from http://www.ebscohost.com/public Hershey Public Library. (n.d.) Retrieved April19, 2012, from http://www.hersheylibrary.org/