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EBSCO Discovery Service

Keyword searching guide

All data is indexed as keyword phrases in EBSCO EDS, rather than in bound-together phrases as in the library catalog title or subject indexes. 

Here are some idiosyncracies for keyword searching.


  • Use quotes to enclose exact phrases and known-item titles
  • Look for differing forms of the word (Anglicans, Anglicanism, Anglican) by using the stem and an asterisk:  anglican*
  • Separate all “words” with a space – (c. s. lewis, not c.s. lewis)  --  better yet, substitute spaces for periods
  • Use N# to look for words with at most # intervening words:  “city N1 god”; “city N2 god” matches “God and the Cities”


Not all subdatabases index the “subjects” the same way.

                This doesn’t find any ATLA Religion database entries, because Augustine’s works are all indexed under “Augustine…” not by the work


When you select an “authorized” form of the subject heading (by clicking the link in the record detail view), it may not be the one used in the other subdatabases:

                ATLA databases use


                The library catalog uses  “Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo”.

                Also, the field designator from the link (DE for descriptor vs. SU for subject) can differ between databases.



Field specifications: “Select a field (optional)” searches all fields EXCEPT the full text. “TX – All text” searches the content of the full text of ebooks.