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Research Guides

Information Literacy & Library Research: "Search the Library" through the EBSCO Discovery Service

Information literacy is the ability to know when information is needed and to be able to identify, locate and evaluate, and then legally and responsibly use and share that information.

Discovery Services

The library has hundreds of databases filled with thousands of journals and periodicals with millions of articles, as well as a catalog full of books, videos, and other resources. In order to make searching this huge collection easier we have a discovery service, the EBSCO Discovery Service or EDS. The EDS acts as a one stop search engine that searches not just one database, but the majority of the databases as well as the catalog at the same time. If searching one database is like online shopping at a specific store's website, then searching the EDS would be more like shopping at a online superstore like Amazon, where there is a lot of everything and it can get overwhelming. So, while it's a super useful tool to search all your bases at once, you have to be even more strategic so your results don't overwhelm you.

Note for INFO 1010:

While the database Academic Search Ultimate is required for your Module 3 assignment, you are free to use any and all databases for your actual research for your paper, including the "Search the Library" EDS search bar on the library homepage ( In fact, you are encouraged to search whatever is helpful to your specific topic. The Module 4 assignment allows you to go beyond Academic Search Ultimate by using the EDS (and possibly other databases that are relevant to your topic). This reading will show you how to effectively search the EDS so you are not overwhelmed with results.

Searching the EDS

EBSCO Discovery Service

While the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), or the big search box on the library’s home page, may not look exactly like the rest of the EBSCO databases, it functions in basically the same way. The biggest difference is that it will have exponentially more results. A search that gave you hundreds of results in the Academic Search Ultimate database might give you thousands of results in the EDS. This is because it is searching the majority of the library's databases as well as the library catalog, all at the same time. This means that your results will be a mixture of articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers, as well as print books and e-books from the library's collection.

Although it looks slightly different, searching the EDS is fundamentally the same as searching Academic Search Ultimate and any other database. You start by putting your search directly into the "Search the Library" search bar on the library's home page.

screenshot of the EDS search bar with the search Dogs and mental health

Once you hit enter or press search it will take you to the EDS results list. This will look similar to what you've seen in Academic Search Ultimate (ASU), but with some slight stylistic changes. The biggest changes will be that the filters from the left side bar are now underneath your search bar and that you only have one search bar instead of three.

screenshot of the EDS search results with the results number highlighted, as well as source type and Access Now on one result.


Using Filters: Source Type

screenshot of the source type filter in the EDS.As you can see in the image of the search bar, this simple search gave us thousands of results. Just like in the ASU database, the EDS shows you what type of source each result is, and even highlights whether the source is peer reviewed. The spot to access the sources has also been streamlined with an Access now button. You can access the detailed record for each source by clicking on the source title, or by clicking View Details

Because there are so many results when you search the EDS, you will probably have to use the same filter options you used to narrow your search in Academic Search Ultimate (see Keywords and Boolean Operators for reminders on how to narrow your search using keywords). The filters are listed directly below the search bar on the results page. One of the most useful is the Source Type filter.

The Source Type filter option is great for narrowing down your results to a specific source type, such as searching for just books. This will search the entire library catalog and all the e-book databases. You can also limit to just Academic Journals to limit your search results to peer reviewed sources only. You can also limit your search to a combination of source types such as searching News and Magazines, which limits your results to just popular publications (see Popular vs. Scholarly).


Using Filters: All Filters

Other filters that might be useful can be found in the All filters option, which, when clicked, will open a sidebar on the right where you can access all of the potential filters (see image below). Some of the more useful filters include the Date Range which will allow you to limit your results to just the ones in the time period chosen. It defaults to 12 months, 5 years, and 10 years, but also gives you the option to create your own custom range, based on the range that is useful for your specific topic.


EDS filter bar with All Filters highlightedscreenshot of the EDS All filters popped out into a sidebar, showing the Date Range and Subject filters.

The Subject filter is also helpful, as it will give you suggestions for subjects you want to limit your results to. These subjects are the same suggested subjects that you might have noticed in your search results.

Peer Reviewed 

Another very useful filter that gets its own button on the filter bar is the Peer Reviewed filter. Select this filter if you are looking to find ONLY peer reviewed sources. This will filter out everything that isn't considered "peer reviewed" which is basically everything except academic journal articles. However, as the majority of your classes and professors will require you to use peer reviewed articles, it is a very good filter for saving time.

Note for INFO 1010:

While most professors will focus on peer reviewed sources, this doesn't mean that non-peer reviewed sources don't have their place. In fact most English 2010 professors will require you to use a mixture of source types, including a good number of peer reviewed sources. It is always important to use good evaluation techniques besides just "peer review" to choose your sources (see CRAAP Test reading). In one of the INFO 1010 assignments  you will be asked to find a book or e-book, a popular article (such as news or magazine articles), and a peer reviewed academic article relevant to your topic. The source type filters (in both the EDS and other EBSCO databases) are good ways to ensure that you find a source of each type. Use this filter to your advantage to easily search and find the right type of source for each question in the worksheet.

screenshot of the EDS filters bar with Peer Reviewed filter highlighted.

Detailed Record in the EDS

You can get to the detailed record of any source in the results list by clicking on the title or the View Details link at the bottom of the result. The detailed record is the page that has all the publication details  needed  to create a citation, as well as the subjects and other data about the source. The Access now button will appear on this page, and it's also where you can find the tools to create a citation and email a source to yourself, just like in Academic Search Ultimate. However, like before, these tools are no longer in the right sidebar, but near the top by the title, in icon format.

screenshot of the top of the detailed record page with the cite and send icons highlighted as well as the Access Now button.

The quotation mark icon is the citation generator button and the arrow icon is for sharing the source to someone via email, Google Drive, or by creating a permanent link or Permalink and sharing it. When you click on either, a popup window will appear with options to cite or share the article. The citation generator works similarly to the ones in the other EBSCO databases, it just looks slightly different. Make sure you pick the correct citation style (for most ENGL 2010 classes this will be MLA 9), and then you can copy to clipboard and paste to your paper, worksheet, or wherever you are collecting the citations at the time.

PLEASE NOTE: the citations will not necessarily be correct since they were generated automatically, so please proofread them before using. It is also likely that when you copy (ctrl + c) and paste to plain text (ctrl + shift + v), it will remove the formatting. If the formatting is changed, you will need to replace the italics and other similar formatting to ensure your citation is correct. Missing Italics are the most common issue when using this citation generator, but are a simple fix.

screenshot of the EDS citation generator popup window with MLA 9 selected.screenshot of the share options in the EDS


Accessing O'Reilly e-Books

Some e-books are slightly less easy to access via the EDS, as they are housed in a non-EBSCO database, and therefore don't integrate as smoothly. If this happens, the EDS will most likely send you to the library catalog record.  You can then access the e-book in the same way as you would if searching the catalog (see How to Find Books and eBooks reading). Once you are back in the catalog, find the link to Connect to this online resource.

screenshot of an ebook result in the EDS where the Access now link sends you back to the catalog.


screenshot of an ebook record in the Catalog with the link to Connect to this resource online highlighted.


NOTE: If you are having trouble accessing an ebook, the easiest way to fix it is by clearing your browser cache, or history to reset the cookies in your browser. Here are links to instructions on how to do this in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. If you are unsure on how to do this in a different browser, search “how to clear cache” for your browser.