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Tips for Searching Biography Reference Bank on EBSCOhost

The following tips are designed to assist you when searching the Biography Reference Bank database on the EBSCOhost interface.

Using Guided Style Advanced Search

If configured by your administrator, you can search Biography Reference Bank on EBSCOhost using multiple Find fields, known as the Guided Style. Guided Style searching allows you to simultaneously search for different terms in varying article citation fields. Click the Advanced Search link below the Find field to access the Advanced Search screen.

Simply enter a search term in the first Find field and then choose the search field from the optional Select a Field drop-down list (for example, search in only the Subject Terms field of the citation).

Guide your search using a second and third term and choose search fields to have EBSCOhost look within specific search criteria for your terms.

Select the AND or OR Boolean operators to limit or expand your results, respectively.

You can add up to twelve additional rows by clicking the Add Row link.


The following limiters are available on the EBSCOhost search screens for the Biography Reference Bank database and can help you limit your searches depending on your search criteria:

  • Birth Day (Month Day): Search for anyone based on when they were born. The following date patterns can be used in this limiter:

    • February
    • February 12
    • February 12 1809


    • The month must be spelled out in full in order to retrieve results.

    • If the birth day is a single digit number, it must be preceeded by a 0 (zero) in order to retrieve results.

      Example: April 3 must be entered as April 03.

  • Lifespan: Search for anyone who was alive within a certain date range. From the Era drop-down, you can select b.c.e. (before common era) or c.e. (common era) or leave it blank. The default when unselected is c.e.

    Example: By entering a date range of 1929 c.e. to 1992 c.e., you limit your search results to people that lived at any time during that span of time.

  • Occupation/Activity: Enter the name of a profession to search Biography Reference Bank by a specific occupation.

    Examples: entrepreneur, television personality, automobile executive

  • Place of Origin: Enter a birth place to limit your search results to a certain geographic location. The Place of Origin limiter can be used to search:

    • US State
    • Canadian Province
    • Country
    • Continent: Europe, Africa, etc.
    • Region: Central America, Southern States, etc.

    Note: The Place of Origin limiter does not search by city.

  • Gender: Select All, Male, or Female. The default is All.

Retrieving Results

Your initial search will retrieve Name records (one record per person), biographies, periodical records, and books. You can use the Source Type links on the left to limit the list to specific records. For example, if you searched for “scientists” and only wanted to see a list of names of scientists, you can choose Names on your result list.

Sort order of Results

The default sort order of your results is by relevance. You can change the sort order using the Sort drop-down menu above your results. Select from:

  • Relevance
  • Date (Ascending or Descending)
  • Source
  • Name
  • Title

Singular and Plural Searching

When Biography Reference Bank retrieves your search results in EBSCOhost, plural and singular variations of your keywords are also searched.

Finding Related Items

You can search for periodicals, books, biographies and names related to your subject by clicking the corresponding link in the Related Information box found on the Detailed Record for a result.

Simply click on a name in the result list. Note the Related Information box in the column on the left. Choose from:

  • periodicals
  • books
  • biographies
  • names


When images are available based on your search terms, they are displayed in the result list. If an image is available for a Name result, it can be viewed on the result list as well as within the detailed record.

When additional images are available based on your search terms, they can be viewed from the Related Biographical Images area in the column on the right side of the screen. Click Find More to view a separate result list of all available images.