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SOC 355W - Library Guide

Searching databases simultaneously

Start your search using the databases listed below.

All three of these databases are accessible from the same platform, so you can search them simultaneously.  

  1. Click on any of the database links below to access the search page. 
  2. On the search page, notice the search boxes at the top and click on the words Choose Databases, located above the search boxes.  
  3. A pop-up window will appear with a list of databases arranged alphabetically. 
  4. Select the databases to add them to your search and then click OK in the lower right hand corner of the pop-up window.  
  5. You will then return to the search screen where you can type in your keywords.   

Selecting Keywords


Step One:  Consider two to three concepts that help to explain or directly relate to your research topic. Use these broad concepts to identify keywords. See search tips below. Use the chart below as a guide.


Can altruistic behavior help break cycles of addiction?





Consider alternative keywords for the concepts




Drug addition


Drug rehabilitation




Step Two:  Develop a search strategy using the keywords and/or phrases.  Less is more; start with a few keywords and if necessary build a more comprehensive search.  See search tips below. 


Step Three: Recognize that databases have similar features, such as “limiters” or ways to narrow the search results (e.g., date of publication, peer-reviewed journal, and full-text).   Apply limiters if necessary.


Step Four: View the results.  If the search strategy did not return any results try changing the keywords. 


Search tips (EBSCOhost)



  Quotation marks

Exact phrase searching


Combine terms


Omit or ignore a term


Expand the search to include either or both terms


Structure a Boolean (AND, OR, NOT) search


Truncate a term or complete a phrase


Wildcard used to replace a single letter


Wildcard used for alternate spellings

  N and a number

Finds terms near x terms

  W and a number

Finds terms within x terms in order

Try not to use punctuation

Databases ignore these unless it is a question mark

Try not to use stop words

Databases ignore these