This tutorial will teach you the search skills you need to use the Library Search engine

To get started:


Let’s begin!

Identify search words

1 of 2Your practice topic is:

Discuss effective communication skills in the workplace

What are the main search words or phrases?


Let’s identify some other search words! Why?

Identify search words

2 of 2

Let's identify some other words or phrases.


(Click here if you need help)


(Click here if you need help)

Well done, you have identified a number of search words for this topic.

Let’s start searching!

Start searching

Click here to enter the Library search engine. Login with your username and password. (More info.)


Select the the 'Advanced Search' link


Combining search words with AND will find results containing ALL the search words.

Combining search words with OR will find results containing ANY of the search words.

Enter the search words as depicted in the image below. (Click on the image to enlarge)

Library Search search strategy 1


Click 'Search'


Let's look at the search results!

Look at your results

The number of results appears just above the first result.

How many results did you get?

Searching is a process

Sometimes you will get too many results and other times you will get too few or none at all.

If you have too many search results, you will need to refine your search. One way to do this is to add or change your search words.


Now let's refine and change your search!

Refine and change your search

Look for words in your results to see if you can improve your search.

Click on the image below and consider:

  • Are there words in the title you can use instead of communication skills?
  • Are there words in the Subjects you can use instead of workplace?

Library Search Clues


Let's practice changing your search.

  • Scroll to the top of the page.
  • Delete "communication skills" OR "verbal skills".
  • Enter the phrase "interpersonal communication". (Click on the image below if you need help).
  • Then click 'Search'.

Library Search search strategy 2


Let's limit the results by date!

Limit results by date

You will often be asked to use academic resources that are up-to-date.
  • BooksLimit to the last 10 years
  • Journal articlesLimit to the last 5 years

Limit the results to the last 10 years.

  • Scroll down to Publication date (found under Refine Results).
  • Type in 2007 (see image below).
  • You may have to hit 'Enter' on your keyboard.


  • You now have results published from 2007 onward which contain your relevant search words.

 Refine to Books.

  • Scroll down to 'Source types' under the Refine Results section and click 'Show more'.
  • Tick both 'Books' and 'eBooks' then click 'Update'.

Need help?


Let's add some results to 'My Folder'!

Add results to 'My folder'

You now have a list of books and ebooks relevant to your search words, published from 2007 onward.

it's important to keep track of the resources you find. Why?

Click on the folder icon next to one eBook and one book.

Great! You have added those resources to a temporary folder which will appear on the far right side of your screen. (See image below.)


How can you read the books or eBooks you have found?

(Click here to find out how)


Let's save some journal articles to 'My Folder'!

Finding journal articles

1 of 2

Limit your search to 'journal articles'

  • Scroll down to 'Source types'.
  • Click 'Show more'.
  • Untick 'Books' and 'eBooks'.
  • Tick 'Academic Journals'

Now limit to the last five years

  • Scroll down to Publication date (found under the Refine Results section)  
  • Type in 2012
  • Tick 'Peer Reviewed'



Let's look at the results!

Finding journal articles

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The results are:

  • Academic and Peer Reviewed journal articles
  • Relevant to your search words
  • Published in the last five years

Save two or three journal articles

  • Click on the folder icon next to the journal articles you want to save.

Great! You have added the results to your temporary folder, along with your other resources.

How can you read the journal articles you have found?

(Click here to find out how)


Now let's go to 'My Folder'!

My Folder

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You have now saved four or five journal articles and/or books in your temporary folder.

Go to 'My Folder has items' on the far right of your screen.

  • Click on 'Go to: Folder view'.
  • Tick 'Select / deselect all'.
  • Notice the options to Print, Email, Save and Export on the far right of the screen.
  • Select Email.
  • Enter your student email address in the 'Email to' field.
  • Click 'send'.

My Folder

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Well done! You have now found and emailed a number of relevant and up-to-date academic resources to yourself. You are well on your way to using the Library search engine effectively.


Important Note:

To save your searches, set alerts, and keep journal articles and other references in one place, you will need to register for your own EBSCOhost personalised folder.

Click here for video instructions on how to set it up. (Opens in new tab.)

Practice with your own topic

Practice with your own topic. Remember you can use these skills for any assessment task!

Ask Us

If you need further help please Ask us.


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