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EBSCO eBooks

Tutorials for finding and using eBooks on EBSCOhost.

More eBooks

Ebook collections for reference.

Finding eBooks: Browsing and Searching the Collection

This section contains two tutorials to help you find the titles you need on the EBSCOhost eBook collection. The first describes how to browse for eBooks if you have only a general category of interest, and the second, how to search for eBooks if you have a specific research subject in mind.


Browsing for eBooks

If you just want to browse for books in a general subject area rather than search for a specific topic, you can start with the "Browse by Category" box on the left-hand side. For this example, click on "Arts and Architecture."

Clicking on a category will give you a list of all the titles available for that category. Click on "Subject" on the left hand side to expand the subject menu and see the most common subject headings for that category. The number of books available for each subject heading is denoted by the number in parenthesis. Click on "Show More" to see all the subject headings under the Arts and Architecture category.

On the window that pops up, you can select one or more subject headings to narrow the scope of the books you want to browse. Check the box next to "Photography--Digital Techniques" and click Update.

You should then see a list of all the books on digital photography techniques included in the EBSCOhost ebook collection. You can click on the "eBook Full Text" link to view any book in your browser. When you're done browsing, you can click on "New Search" at the very top left  to return to the home page.


Searching for eBooks

Unlike a traditional library catalog, the EBSCOhost ebook collection allows you to see immediately the pages in the text that are most relevant to your search. This means you can do targeted research in minutes that, in a print library, might require hours of browsing indexes and tables of contents. However, effective searching still requires careful selection of your search terms in order to avoid getting too few results or too many that are irrelevant to your information needs.

If you haven't already done so, click on "New Search" on the top-left side to return to the home page. You should see several fields in which you can enter search terms. Let's say we're interested in finding books about art therapy. Type art therapy in the first search box and click search.

It's best to start with very simple keywords and then narrow your focus. You can narrow the scope of your results by using the subject menu on the left as described previously in the Browsing for eBooks tutorial. Alternatively, you can add additional keywords to narrow your search. Let's assume, for example, that we're specifically interested in art therapy for children. Type children in the second search box as shown below and press search.

You should now have fewer search results than you did with just the single search phrase. Note that adding additional search terms with "AND" narrows the scope of your search and retrieves fewer results.

By default, ESBCOhost attempts to order your results by relevance based on your search terms, with the most relevant eBooks at the head of the list. But the database also provides an additional way to assess whether a book might be useful for your research. Click any one of the links entitled "Most Relevant Pages From This eBook."

Expanding that link will show you a brief excerpt from some of the pages in which your search terms appear. This will help you assess whether that book is relevant to your research needs. You can also click on any of the "View Page" links to jump directly to that page within the book.