Q. How do I refine my results in the Ebsco databases to get articles more directly related to my specific topic?

How do I determine the information that will best suit my needs? Because of the quantity of articles that appear, I spend a lot of time just scanning through to find the best articles.


The problem you describe is one of refining your results to the most relevant material.

There are a couple of approaches you can take: the first is to refine the database results using the subject terms (or subject thesaurus terms) shown in the left-hand column; the second approach is to select one or two articles from your results that are the most related to your topic, then use the article's list of cited works or references as your next set of articles to retrieve and view.

The first approach requires you to look at the words and phrases presented as subjects or subject thesaurus terms. There will be a number of terms; pick two or three that you believe are most relevant. You can also use the date-range limiter to limit your results to just a few years, such as 2006-2011. This should help you focus your list of results. You may need to do this several times, trying different subject terms until you see a list of results that is of most interest to you.

The second approach requires you to pick one or two articles from your results. Make sure it is an article you believe strongly applies to your topic. Use the article’s list of works cited, or references, and search for the articles listed. This should greatly help you narrow the articles of interest to just a few that really pertain to your topic.

  • Last Updated Dec 03, 2018
  • Views 126
  • Answered By UHD Librarian

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