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Business Resources: Search Tips

The scope of this guide will primarily focus on the labor and industry in the United States.


Conjuctions (aka - Boolean Operators) help broaden or narrow your subject when searching

  • And: Narrow your searcy by looking for one term AND another.  Example: "dogs and cats" - Results will have both dogs and cats
  • Or:Expand your search by looking for one term OR another  Example: "dogs or cats" - Results may have either dogs or cats
  • Not: Limit your search by looking for one term, but NOT another.  Example: "dogs not cats" - Results will have only dogs, not cats


Searching Phrases

Use double quotations marks to search for an exact phrase (search for those words when they appear together).

·         Example: “embryonic stem cell”



Wildcard and Truncation Symbols enable you to search for variations of words

1.      Use ? (a question mark) to replace each unknown letter from a word. This symbol is useful if you are unsure of the spelling of a word.

·         Example:  Typing ne?t  will retrieve results containing the words next, neat, or nest.


2.      Enter the root of a word followed by * (an asterisk) to find all words with the same root. It can be used to find both the singular and plural forms of a word.

·         Example: Typing comput* will retrieve results containing the words computer or computing.



Limiters allow you to narrow the resources you want to search for

Select limiters to narrow your search.  Examples of limiters include:

·         full text (of abstracts and/or documents)

·         publication date

·         journal type (peer reviewed)

·         material type (book, article, newspaper)

Remember that the more limiters you choose, the fewer results you will get.

Be sure to type the subject word or phrase in separate fields for the best possible return of articles. Example: Type Autism in one field with And from the drop box and Vaccines in the next field.

Keyword vs. Subject

Keyword vs. subject searching

Keyword searches will bring up articles wherever that word appears in the database (in the articles, subjects, publications, abstracts, authors, etc.).


Subject searches will bring up only articles to which a specific subject (term or phrase) has been assigned; it searches only the subject field.

·         Most databases have a subject search option and sometimes a thesaurus to help you find the right terms to use in your search.


Brief Outline on Searching Business Databases


  • Suggest a Subject Terms - this box has a checkmark by default and will retrieve the screen in the thesaurus corresponding to the term entered.   Serves to narrow or broaden the topic and will place the selected terms in the search process
  • One must remove the check is the decision is to search directly without going to the thesaurus.


  • Use the suggest subject terms method with the thesaurus -  crime
  • Select White Collar Crime
  •  OR
  • Keyword approach   -  enter kyw  crime
  • Subject approach  -   two methods
    1. Select the Narrow by Subject in column on left of page - select Fraud;  then select update.  This will combine Fraud with "white collar"
    2. Select  Search Field Option and scroll to SU to narrow White Collar from a kyw to subject approach
  • Enter a term representing a perspective to the original term.  May add to more than two lines.  Ex White Collar,  add Fraud and then on the third line add identity.


  • Entering additional terms as instructed above will narrow the scope and thus limit the results
  • Selecting Full Text will limit the results to online full text articles
  • Selecting a date range, publisher, peer reviewed or publication type are further means of limiting results.
  • Before performing a search one may limit the search from the initial search screen by placing a check in the boxes of the limiters or entering information for some selections.


  • Click on the Company Profile tab
  • Browse or enter company name
  • Results:  Detail chart of information or Datamonitor report


  • Click  “Sign in o my EBSCO Host”  and your name, and pin and other requested information
  • This personal account provides a place for storing your research via the folders you can create
  • Click on the folder icon located by each  articles that you would like to read or store
  • Click on the folder icon at the top of the search screen will retrieve the page for manipulation of your folders.  Then click on the link New Folder and create and name the folder.  You may create more than one folder.
  • Place a check in the box by any article on the page that captured the articles of interest that you clicked on the folder by the article in your search results.
  • Select “Move” to place articles that you check in to the named or selected folder.
  • You can save searches and request alerts through your EBSCO Host account


  • Select the search history link located under the search boxes in order to view previous searches, refine or combine previous searches.


  • Click on the Publication tab at the top of the search screen will enable one to select a specific magazine/journal .
  • Enter the desired title and then click on “Search within this publication”  and read articles from a specific issue
  • Other option - check the box for the title and click ADD.  Then click Search at the top.  The search will retrieve all articles from the selected journal.
  • Next step - enter the desired subject/topic terms in succeeding lines.   Remove the check from the suggested subject therm.
  • The search will retrieve all articles on the specific topic from the specified magazine.



 Four areas for searching

  • Company profiles and information
  • Industry information
  • Basic search for articles
  • Advanced Search for articles

Company information

  • Enter company name, ticket symbol, industry code, product
  • Retrieved information gives two methods of accessing information
  • Left side column divides articles by Financial data, legal, management, people, product, sales, statistics, strategy
  • The top features tabs for financials, histories, investments, rankings, products, industry overview

Industry information

  • Search by SIC or NAICS, or enter description of industry.  May browse NAICS, SIC
  • Information retrieved from Gale encyclopedias includes the industry snapshot, leaders, current conditions and further readings.

 Article searching

  • Suggest Advanced Search
  • May search in the fields of  keywords, subject, title, date, abstract
  • May limit results to full text, peer reviewed, newswires, magazines and journals

 List sources box

  • Lists the databases from which Business & Company Resource Center draws the information
  • Cites the type of information gathered -  brand names, corporate chronologies, detailed information about the compnay, investment information and more.



Subject Guide

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Shawn Smith