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Support - EBSCO Help

How can I improve my search results?

When searching EBSCOhost or EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), if you receive a message that indicates no results were found, you may want to refine your search terms and try running the search again.

There are different ways to refine your search so that the maximum search results are returned. In addition to trying the suggestions provided on the Search Screens, you could also try any of the following:

  • Depending on the databases selected and how your library administrator has configured your interface, you may have expanders available. If so, try broadening your search to locate terms not only in the citation and abstract but also within the full text of the article. By marking the "Also search within full text of the article," you will expand the search.

  • Depending on the databases selected and how your library administrator has configured your interface, you may have a thesaurus expander available. If so, try marking the "Also search for related words" expander. EBSCO's thesaurus will find synonyms, alternate spellings and plurals for your search terms.

  • Try unmarking one or more limiters. Limiters narrow your result list—depending upon the limiters you've chosen, you may have created too narrow of a search.

  • The Basic and Advanced Search Screens let you create a Boolean search with operators such as AND, OR and NOT. These searches are not designed to yield significant results if you enter long phrases or questions in everyday English.

If you receive a message that indicates an error in your query syntax, try searching again, keeping in mind the following:

  • Re-enter your search terms. Make sure you don't unnecessarily repeat words.

  • Don't duplicate Boolean terms. (Enter "heart and lung" not "heart and and lung.")

There may be situations where you re-run a search and no results are found.

  • If you run a search against a different database, the limiters and expanders you originally selected may not appear in the new database.

  • If you run a search against the same database, but the database has changed, the limiters and expanders you originally selected may no longer be available in that database.