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EBSCOhost databases

Guide to using EBSCOhost databases

Search History, combining and editing search results

Use the Search History / Alerts area, beneath the search boxes, to view your searches and the number of results for each one. (Select Search History beneath the search boxes if the Search History / Alerts section is not already displayed.)

You can use the Search History to:

Screenshot of the EBSCOhost Search History / Alerts panel.

Combine your search lines to build up a search strategy

To combine searches, use the checkboxes to the left of each search line to select the lines that you want to combine, then select either the Search with AND or Search with OR button, above the list of search lines.

If you are aiming to conduct an inclusive search, it is a good idea to combine a thesaurus term (or subject heading) search and a free text search for each of your target concepts. For example, ((MH "Anesthesia+") OR (anaesthesia or anesthesia)).

You can also remove searches by ticking the relevant checkboxes and then clicking the Delete Searches button.

Edit your search strategy

Click on Edit to:

  • amend your search terms, for example to add an additional term, delete a term, add a truncation symbol, etc.
  • change your search options. (Click on the question mark in the Search Options box for more information.)
  • apply limits, or additional limits, to your search.

Search History display

Search Terms column

  • Thesaurus terms are prefixed with DE, for example, DE "Abstract Reasoning".
  • Subject headings are prefixed with MH, for example, (MH "Anesthesia").
  • Explode: If you have chosen to explode a thesaurus term, all of the narrower terms will be listed in the search line. For example, if you have exploded the ERIC thesaurus term Cognitive Ability, the search line will be DE "Cognitive Ability" OR DE "Theory of Mind" OR DE "Thinking Skills". In CINAHL Plus, an exploded subject heading will be followed by a plus symbol, for example, (MH "Anesthesia+").
  • Major Concept: If you have selected Major Concept, the subject heading will be prefixed with MM, for example, (MM "Anesthesia").
  • Subheadings: If you have selected a subheading, the subject heading will be followed by a forward slash and the acronym for your selected subheading, for example, (MH "Anesthesia/AE"), where AE represents the subheading Adverse Effects. 
  • Limits: Where you have applied limits, an additional search line is created with limits displayed in the Search Options column.
  • When you combine searches, only the line numbers are shown in your search history, for example, S1 OR S2.

Search Options column

  • By default, Apply equivalent subjects is selected under the heading Expanders, and Boolean/Phrase is selected under Search modes. You can click on Edit in the Actions column to change these selections.

    • Boolean/Phrase means that using search operators, such as AND and OR, and exact phrase searching are supported.
    • Apply equivalent subjects means that mapped vocabulary terms will be included in your search. These are synonyms or variants of your search terms, such as singular and plural forms of words.

Actions column

The Actions column shows:

  • The number of search results retrieved by each search line. Click on View Results to see the results that were retrieved by that particular search.
  • View Details gives you information about the last time you ran that search: the Search Interface (for example EBSCOhost), the Search Screen (for example, Advanced Search) and the Database (for example, EconLit). This can be useful if you need to rerun a search.
  • Edit your search strategy.