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Database quick guides: Ebsco

Quick references of the most central databases in the University of Oulu

Ebsco databases

Academic Search Ultimate, America: History & Life, APA PsycArticles, Arctic & Antarctic Regions, Art & Architecture Complete, Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, Business Source Ultimate, CINAHL, Communication & Mass Media Complete, eBook Collection, EconLit, ERIC, GeoRef, GreenFILE, Historical Abstracts, Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA), MEDLINE, MLA International Bibliography, OpenDissertations, Regional Business News, Teacher Reference Center

Database guide: Ebsco



Truncation and wildcard

- can not be used as the first character in a search term



replaces 0…n characters


> computer, computing, computational

replaces a single character

- can be used to search the alternative spellings of the same word

> neat, nest, next

organi?ation = organisation = organization

replaces possibly missing character

- plurals and possessives of that term are not searched

> color, colour

colo#r = "color" OR "colour"

Plurals and possessives

When a singular word is searched, the plural and possessive forms of that word will also be searched.

Any form finds other forms.


If the plural is spelled differently, you can try the  "Apply related words" expander.

> steel, steels

> child, child's, children, children's

> child, child's, children, children's

> foot, feet

Hyphenated words

Hyphenated form finds hyphenated and non-hyphenated forms.

Non-hyphenated form is treated as separate words.

Some hyphenated words are also written combined. With these you must use OR operator.

> talk-show, talk show, talk-shows, talk shows

= talk-show OR "talk show" OR "talk shows"

non-formal OR nonformal


Double quotation marks

- truncation is allowed

- plural and possessive forms will not be searched without truncation

"criminal* insan*"
> criminal insanity, criminally insane

"financial technolog*" 
financial technology, financial technologies

Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT

- are not case sensitive

1. Nn, Wn

2. AND

3. OR

Use parentheses to specify the order in which they are interpreted. The innermost parenthetical expression is processed first.

Terms in the same search field are not processed as an AND operation. The setting is proximity search N5.

 (dog or cat) and (show or parade)

((mouse OR rat) AND trap) OR mousetrap

Proximity searches

- for two or more words that occur within a specified number of words (or fewer) of each other

- truncation is possible

- you can use parentheses to multiply terms


Nn regardless of the order, n ≥ 0

When entering search terms without Boolean or other operators the default setting is N5 (near 5) .

tax N3 reform
> tax reform, reform of income tax

(baseball OR football OR basketball) N5 (team* OR play*)

tax reform = tax N5 reform

Wn in the order in which you entered them, n ≥ 0

tax W3 reform
> tax reform
> not: reform of income tax

oil W3 (disaster OR clean-up OR contaminat*)

tax* W0 reform* = "tax* reform*"


Searching from different fields and full texts

Default search Select a Field (optional) searches the citation.

TX All Text Fields searches also full texts of books and article PDFs.