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Database quick guides: Ebsco




Finding variations of a word




Stemming, plurals


Wildcard characters

*   replaces 0…n characters

?  replaces a single character anywhere in a word

# replaces possibly missing character. This can not be the first character of the search term

comput* retriev computer, computing

ne?t  retrieves neat, nest, next

colo#r  retrieves color, colour

The singular form usually also retrieves the plural form. If plural spelling is out of the ordinary, use "Apply related words"

steel retrieves steel and steels
foot retrieves foot and feet

Phrase in quotation marks

- truncation can be used

"special education"


- phrase search with a word’s basic form cannot find plural forms without a wildcard character  

Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT 

Order of precedence is from left to right 

dog or cat and show or parade 

Use parentheses to override order of precedence. The expression inside the parentheses is executed first.

(dog or cat) and (show or parade)


Proximity operators

Nn either word may appear first, n ≥ 0


Wn the first term must precede the second , n ≥ 0

- wildcards can be used

- by using parentheses the proximity operators can be utilized diversely

tax N5 reform retrieves e.g. both tax reform and reform of income tax.


tax W8 reform retrieves tax reform, but not reform of income tax

Using the database

Search tips - in Ebsco databases

User rights - FinElib 

Ebooks guide - Use, download, terms of use