TUTORIAL: FINDING ARTICLES ONLINE WITH OMNIFILE ON EBSCOhost
On the Basic Search screen, enter your search terms (the words you want to search for) and press the Enter key or click the Search button. In the example below, we are searching for the words LEED building:
The Basic Search looks for your search terms in key areas of the articles, such as the title and abstract. To find all the articles that mention your search terms anywhere in the article, click Search Options and select Also search within the full text of the articles.
On the Search Results page, you will see how many articles were found near the top of the screen (1,105 in the example below):
Each result lists the author and title of the article, the magazine or journal in which the article was published, the date on which the article was published, and the pages on which the article appeared. This is called an article citation.
You can immediately read the full text of any article by clicking HTML Full Text or PDF Full Text just below the citation. Some articles are available only in HTML or only as PDF files. (HTML means that the article has been formatted to display on a web page, usually as plain text.)
- Tip: If a PDF version of the article is available, open the PDF to see the article as it appeared in print, including any illustrations. HTML versions of articles typically do not include images.
Click on the title of any article in the Search Results to see more information about it and read the abstract (a brief summary of the article):
In the Tools menu along the right side of this page, you have the option to print a copy of the article, email the article to yourself or someone else, or save a copy of the article.
You can also get a citation for the article or listen to an audio version.
From any article page (pictured above), click Cite to see the citation for the article in APA, Chicago, MLA, and other styles:
If an article is available in HTML, you can also listen to the article read aloud (by a slightly robotic voice) or save the audio file to play on your mp3 player. From the article page (pictured above), click Listen to see the audio options:
Click the Play button to listen on your computer. Click the Download mp3 button to save the audio file to play on your mp3 player.
Click the Settings button (the round wheel) to slow down or speed up the reader.
- Tip: Many people think the Australian accent is the least robotic voice!
If you get too many results, you can Refine your results by limiting the search to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals, to articles with PDF Full Text available, or to articles with a Publication Date within certain years:
Narrow to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals
Click Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals to narrow your results down to articles published in these journals. A scholarly journal, also called an academic journal or a peer-reviewed journal, is a journal with articles written by professors, researchers and other academic experts. When one of these experts writes an article, he or she sends it to a scholarly journal to consider for publication. The journal then sends the paper to several other experts in the field for them to review. The reviewers make notes not only about any errors, but also about anything that is unclear or misleading. The original author must fix these problems before the journal will publish the article; this is called the peer review process.
- Tip: Narrowing your search to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals is the best way to make sure that you get solid, reliable information. However, if the scholarly articles on your topic are too technical (many are written for electrical engineers, microbiologists, etc.), use popular press articles from shelter magazines (like Time or National Geographic) and trade publications (like Hospitality Design or EcoStructure).
Narrow to PDF Full Text
Click PDF Full Text to narrow your results down to articles available as PDF files. This will cut out any articles that are available only in HTML.
- Tip: If you need to see the images, narrow your results to PDF Full Text. HTML versions of articles typically do not include images.
Narrow by Publication Date
To Refine your results by limiting the Publication Date, click and drag the slider to change the date range and click Update. If we narrow our LEED building search down to articles published from 2011 through 2013, we reduce the number of Search Results from 1,105 to 426:
Narrow by Subject
If your original search results include some relevant articles and some that are completely irrelevant, narrow your results by selecting one more Subjects:
In this context, Subject means what an article is really about. These Subjects allow you to separate the articles that are really about your topic from the articles that just mention your topic in passing. In our example, we can narrow our results to articles with the Subject “Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Green Building Rating System”. This cuts out, for example, an article about when to use a consultant and recommends using a consultant if you want the project to achieve LEED certification.
To narrow your results by Subject, select one or more of the Subjects listed and click Update. In our example, this brings the number of results from 426 down to 192:
Once you find an article that is relevant, another way to search is to use one of the Subjects assigned to that article. For example, the article below has 6 Subjects assigned to it:
If we click on Indoor air quality, we get 303 new results, all related to Indoor air quality.
If you don’t find what you need using the Basic Search, try the Advanced Search. From any page in OmniFile, click Search at the top left, and then click Advanced Search:
With Advanced Search, you can:
- Enter search terms using AND, OR, and NOT
- Change the Search mode to Find all my search terms or Find any of my search terms
- Expand your results by Also searching within the full text of the articles, not just the key areas such as title and abstract
- Limit your results to articles published in Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals (academic journals that ask experts in the field to review articles before they are published)
- Limit your results to articles available as PDF Full Text
- Limit the Published Date by month and year
- Limit your results to a certain Document Type such as Book review or Feature article
AND, OR and NOT
You can make your search more specific by using AND, OR, and NOT (these are called Boolean operators, and a search using those words is called a Boolean search):
- If you want to make sure that all of your search terms appear in every article, use AND. For example: if you want to find articles about restaurants and architecture, search for restaurant AND architecture.
- If you want to search for either of two things, use OR. This helps when there are multiple words that could describe your topic. For example: if you want to find articles about bars and lounges, search for bar OR lounge.
- If you want to search for one thing but not another, use NOT. This helps when you want to exclude some part of your topic. For example: if you want to find articles about furniture but not chairs, search for furniture NOT chair.
In the example below, we are searching for recent articles about bar or lounge design, and we are limiting the results to articles available as PDF files so that we get the pictures.
- Combining OR and AND: If you want to combine OR and AND, use parentheses around the OR phrase. In this example, we want articles about either bars or lounges, so we use (bar OR lounge) in the first line. We only want articles about the design of bars or lounges, so we add AND design in the second row
- We Limit to PDF Full Text to make sure that PDF files with images are available
- We Limit the Published Date to January 2010 through December 2013 to get the most recent articles.
If you go to http://search.ebscohost.com on a smartphone, you will be automatically directed to the mobile version of the site:
You can limit your search to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals or to articles with PDF Full Text available from the main search screen. Click Search Options to do an Advanced Search.
If you are on the mobile site and want to switch to the regular desktop site, click Full Site at the bottom of any page. If you want to switch back to the mobile version, scroll to the very bottom of any page and click Mobile Site.
Another option for accessing OmniFile from your smartphone is to download the app. Scroll to the bottom of any page in OmniFile and click EBSCOhost iPhone and Android Applications:
Follow the instructions to download and authenticate the app. You will need the DISD username and password. If you have forgotten the username or password, please contact the DISD Library.
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