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Health Information Technology

Using Discovery Search to Locate Articles from Subject-Specific Periodicals

To begin searching Discovery Search, go back to the library home page and use the basic search box in the middle of the page.

There are a few ways that you can use Discovery Search and ensure that you are only retrieving Health Sciences periodicals in the search results.

After starting your general search from the Library homepage using the single search box, choose one of these options from the left hand side of the screen:

Screenshot of Discovery Search box.

Choose to limit to "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" from the left hand options under "Limit to."  You will then only be retrieving scholarly journals and based on your search terms will likely consist primarily of journal titles in your subject area of business management or health sciences. (You can also combine this option with one of the options listed below)

Screenshot of publication list after using the scholarly journal limiter.

Under Publication, click "Show More" and select the journal and magazine titles that you recognize and trust.

Screenshot of publication limiter option.

Under Subject, click "Show More" and view the subject terms that are most relevant to your subject and are more related to health sciences and business management terminology.

Screenshot of subject limiter options.

Under Databases Searched, click "Show More" and then select the database titles from the provided list of recommended databases provided in this guide.

Screenshot of subject limiter options

Add additional search terms to your initial search that more directly relate to your career area (such as best practices, leadership, research, methodology, business, case study, report, health care).

Screenshot showing how to add a second search term.


Search Tips

Which of the following searches will be more effective?

A) Are school vouchers good or bad for public schools?


B) "school vouchers" AND "public schools" AND issues

The answer is typically B - keywords and phrases.

In most cases, you do not want to type in a long sentence or sentence fragment.  Taking your search topic and translating it into the most important keywords that describe your topic is the most effective search technique.  The cases in which you would want to use a sentence as your search phrase is when you are gathering background information, you are having trouble effectively searching with keywords, or it is likely authors will use such similarly worded sentences in their articles.

Other tips regarding keywords:

  • Avoid putting too much into one search - pick the best keywords that you expect the author to be using in their discussion and adjust along the way.
  • Common words to describe an issue versus professional and technical terminology can often affect the scholarly nature of your search results.  For instance, "public education reform" versus "improving our schools."

To search for two or more words in an exact order, place quotation marks around the phrase.  The computer will only return documents containing that specific phrase rather than documents containing each word found individually anywhere in the document.

EX: "obsessive compulsive disorder"

By using three simple words,  you can improve your search results.  Boolean searching connects words and phrases with three Boolean Operators, AND, OR, and NOT. Depending on the operator, you can either narrow or expand your search results.  Use the Advanced Search tab found in the databases (EBSCO defaults to the this screen).

AND  will make your search smaller.  If you are getting too many items in your search results, try linking another term to your topic using AND.  When you add AND between two or more search terms, your search results will include all of your search terms.

EX: obesity AND children 

OR will make your search bigger.  If you are receiving too few results, try connecting a synonym to your topic using OR.  When you add OR between your search terms, your search results will include either of your search terms. 

EX: teenagers OR adolescents

NOT will exclude a word from your search results.  If you are getting too many results on an unrelated topic, try eliminating a word with the operator NOT.  Your search results will only include the term before NOT.

EX:  cowboys NOT football

Library databases have predefined fields that you can search within. Limiting your search to specific fields can make your search more precise. For example, if you are looking for a particular article, type in the article title and choose Title in the drop down field menu.  Use the Advanced Search option to search within a field (default search screen in EBSCO).  Some common fields are:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Text
  • Abstract
  • Subject
  • Source (publication title)


Field Search

Limiters help refine and narrow your search.  Using Limiters can give you more precise results.  The location of these limiters vary by database, but are commonly found on the left side of the page.  Some may be applied before your search or after.  Common limiters are:

  • Full Text
  • Peer Reviewed
  • Date
  • Publisher Name
  • Source/Document type (journal, newspaper, interview, editorial, etc.)

Truncation allows you to search for a root word with all of its different endings by placing a symbol at the end of the word.  Symbols vary by database so check the help section on each database.  Common symbols are:


(exclamation mark)

? (question mark)

EX: femini*

The computer will search for feminist, feminism, feminists, feminine, feminize

Recommended Individual Databases

You can search most of the MCC Library databases simultaneously in Discovery Search.  If you would like to search individual subject-specific databases, please select from this list.