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Articles & Databases: Using Library Databases


From our A-Z Database list:

EBSCO Article Databases

SDCC Library has 30 EBSCO databases covering many different subject areas but using the same interface. So the look and feel is similar; just the content of the materials will be different. You can also search across all 30 at once using EBSCO multi-database search.

EBSCO Home Page

EBSCO basic search home page

Anatomy of the Basic Search page:

The Basic Search is the default home page for the EBSCO databases whenever you select one to open.

  1. Searching: The default search is within all the EBSCO databases in the multi-search (about 30 databases at once). Click Show All to see all of the databases included in the search, or select Choose Databases to see a list you can choose from. 
  2. Search box: Type here your main terms for the topics you wish to find. One or two words or a short phrase is best, not full sentences.
  3. Search Options: this link will open a few more ways to refine your search. Advanced Search will take you to the full advanced search list of options. Search History will take you to a list of previous searches you've done during your session. 
  4. Search button: click here to start the search.

EBSCO Advanced Search

EBSCO Advanced Search

Anatomy of the Advanced Search page: 

The Advanced Search page has many more options from which to select prior to starting your search. Choose some now or refine later in the search results page. 

  1. Searching: Select Show All to see which databases are currently included in the search; select Choose Databases to see a list from which to select others.
  2. Search box: Type here your main terms (climate change) for the topics you wish to find in the database. One or two words or a short phrase is best, not full sentences. Use "quotation marks" around phrases that are more than three words (or if EBSCO does not recognize a phrase of two words) to get results that keeps them together as a phrase. Example: british invasion will give different results than "british invasion".
  3. Dropdown menu and search box: The default is AND, which will connect the words/phrases in the search boxes to reveal results with all those terms in them. Type another main term for your topic here (wildfires). Example: climate change AND wildfires will look for articles with both of these topics in them. 
  4. Basic Search takes you back to the Basic Search. Search History will show setups for the previous searches you've done.
  5. Search Options: There are MANY search options from which to choose in the Advanced Search. Some are checked for you already. You can either some choose here or skip this section and refine later, after you've gotten search results. Many of these options are repeated in the left margin of the search results. 
  6. Select a Field: This dropdown allows you to specify what field (Author, Title, Subject Terms, etc.) you wish to look for your terms in the database. This is helpful when you get too many hits and you want to refine your results to the focus of the article (Subject Terms), not just your words found anywhere in the article. 
  7. Search button: Click here to start the search. 

EBSCO Results List

EBSCO results page

Anatomy of a Results page:

  1. Advanced Search area: you can adjust your search terms or options here.
  2. Refine Results area: Narrow down your results to full-text only (whole article), scholarly/academic journals only, specific date range, or types of sources. 
  3. Results list: You can see the total number of results and each result in sequence. Dropdown options in the top right of this area allow you to sort the list by relevance or date. 
  4. Wires list: A list of current stories related to your topic pulled from news organizations (Associated Press, BBC News, etc.) that feed other news publications and news outlets. 
  5. Sample result: Click the title of the article (link) or the HTML link or PDF link to open and view the article. If no HTML or PDF links are available then you will only get a summary of the article, not full text. The Periodical icon to the left indicates this is a popular (vs academic/scholarly) article. The magnifying glass in the top right corner of this area allows you to view a quick summary of the article instead of opening it. 

EBSCO Article Record

EBSCO article record

Anatomy of an Article's Record:

  1. Advanced Search area: You can adjust your search terms or options here.
  2. View options area: Choose which format of the article you'd like to see (HTML, PDF, EPUB). If only the Detailed Record appears, then the article is not available in full text and all you get is the record information; usually at the very least there is a summary of the article. 
  3. Record for the article: This area includes fields for the title of the article, author name(s), source publication information, subject headings, the abstract (summary) of the article, and other descriptive information about the article. 
  4. Tools area: Select an option to save, cite, or export record-level information. Whole article text is only available when HTML, PDF or EPUB is available. Permalink is the option to create a persistent link into the database that you can copy and paste into Canvas or other web-based platform. (Recipients of shared links must be students at SDCC to view articles from shared links.)
  5. Full text of article when available. HTML format includes options to listen to the text or follow hyperlinks. PDF will open a scanned image of the original article as it appeared in print form. EPUB is for e-books, and will open with a table of contents for chapters. 
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