Searching for Magazine and Journal Articles using EBSCOhost Databases

Planning your Search

  1. Plan your search strategy. Use the Get Ready to Research [pdf] worksheet to refine your search strategy for more effective results.

  2. Access the EBSCOhost databases. From the Articles tab on the Library's home page click on the EBSCOhost databases link.

    • If you are accessing the EBSCOhost databases off-campus, you will be prompted to enter your Hawkeye username and password. This log-in is the same as your Hawkeye email log-in.

  3. Select the database(s) you wish to search. Read the database descriptions to see which one(s) will work best for your research needs.

Searching for Articles and Reviewing the Results

The following steps describe the search process:

  • The topic for the example is: “How effective are meth abuse treatment programs?”

  • Resources needed: academic journal articles

  • Database selected: Academic Search Premier. This large, multi-disciplinary database has thousands of publications indexed. Most are academic/scholarly journals. Information about a particular article includes abstracts, subject headings, and often the entire text of the article.

  1. Use the Basic Search form and type your keywords for your search topic in the text box. (The Advanced Search form has more features and may also be used, but it is not discussed here.)

    In this example we will use the search phrase "meth* abuse." Adding the keywords "treatment" and "iowa" will help narrow the search results. Depending on your topic, you may need to adjust your keywords to be more specific or to be more general.

    "meth* abuse" treatment iowa
    • Asterisk *: Use the asterisk * to truncate (expand the endings). However, be careful when doing this as you can get what is called "false hits" – results that have nothing to do with your topic.

      Meth* will return articles that have the terms: methamphetamine and methamphetamines, besides just plain meth. But meth* may also give you articles that have the words: method, methods, and methodology.

    • Search Terms and Phrases: The EBSCO databases are set up to automatically insert an AND in between every word, you do not have to type AND between your search terms and phrases.

      Use quotation marks around words you want searched as a phrase.

      The results for: meth* AND abuse will be different than for the phrase "meth* abuse" which will be more specific to the search topic.

  2. View the results list. The information in the illustration below includes the:

    • title of an article, which links to more information about the article
    • authors’ names
    • publication (Journal of Clinical & Experimental Neuropsychology)
    • date of publication, volume, and issue number
    • pages the article is found on
    • length of the article (5 pages.)

    • This search result also indicates that there are two charts and two graphs in the article and the full text of this article is available online.


  3. Retrieving the Full Text version of the article.

    • "Find Full Text through LinkSource": If the article is available in another database (such as LexisNexis) the "Find Full Text..." link will lead you to the article. View the steps on how to use the "Find Full Text" link to retrieve the complete article.


      • PDF Full Text and HTML Full Text: Full text articles may be available within the EBSCOhost database in PDF or HTML format, or sometimes both. You can go directly to the article by clicking on the "HTML Full Text" or "PDF Full Text" links.

        PDF Full Text is a scanned image of the article. To view a PDF Full Text article, your computer will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. This is a free program you can download if it is not already installed on your computer.

        HTML Full Text is a web page version. You just need to keep scrolling down below the citation section.

      • If you'd like to find out more information about the article, you can click on the title link to access the Full Record screen.

        The Full Record Screen displays the:

        • authors’ names. Click on one of the author’s names to get a list of other articles written by that author.

        • source (publication). Click on title in the Source section. When you click on the source, you may see the:

          • mailing address

          • web site link

          • date range for full text articles for this publication. (Sometimes there’s an embargo period when no full text is available online for a certain time period after the publication date.)

          • publication type. The publication type will state whether the publication is an academic journal, periodical (magazine), or other type of publication. Be aware that not all publications that have the word "Journal" in the title are actually academic or scholarly in nature.

          • Peer reviewed? (Sometimes called "Refereed.") Most, but not all, scholarly publications have a peer review panel that looks at the content of the article for accuracy, appropriate methodology (if the article reports a study), and more. If an article is published in a Peer Reviewed journal, it has received the approval of other experts in that field.

        • subject terms. Click on the subject terms for a list of other articles on that subject.

        • Abstract. A brief summary is usually also included in this section.

      • Hawkeye Library: Occasionally you may find citations and abstracts to articles that are only available in print in the Hawkeye Library. These articles may be photocopied in the Library or the periodical may checked out for one week. Distance education students who do not come to campus may contact the Library for assistance.


      • Interlibrary Loan Service: Some of your search results may not be available online in full text, but you may be able to get them via Interlibrary Loan.

        1. Click on the "Request this item through interlibrary loan" link.

        2. Complete the Interlibrary Loan request form. Be sure to enter your correct Hawkeye email address.

        3. Read the copyright notice and click the Submit button.

        4. Read more about Hawkeye's Interlibrary Loan Service and how to access your article when it is ready.


Refining your Search Criteria

  1. On the results list screen, in the left column, click on "Refine your results." You can choose one or all of the following options:

    • Hawkeye Library: Limits your search results to only articles from Hawkeye Library's subscription publications.

    • Full Text: Limits your search results to only display Full Text articles.

    • Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals

    • Publication date

  2. On the results list screen, in the left column, click on  "Publication Type" and select "Academic Journal."

  3. Change your search terms in the search text box at the top of the screen.

  4. Set up limiters on the original search form before you do the search.



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