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Student Success

Useful information to help you succeed as a student at Webster University

Library homepage searching and services

Webster University Libraries home page showing search publications tabs and big blue services buttonshomepage image captured 18Oct2022

Search Publications & Research

From the library homepage at you may select the tabs to search:

  • Articles: across multiple EBSCO databases to produce a multidisciplinary list of articles that contain your search words or phrases.  
  • Catalog: the library catalog for books, ebooks, videos (including streaming collections), music recordings (including streaming audio) and scores, and much more.
  • eBooks: electronic books accessible to Webster University students and staff. 
  • Journals & magazines: for a periodical title to find whether it is full text in a database. If so, you may browse of search the database for a specific article. 
  • Research guides: for librarian-curated lists of databases and other resources for programs, courses, and topics.
  • Videos: for DVD's and streaming video collections. 

Big Blue Buttons

Articles & Databases for alphabetical and subject lists of databases available to Webster students and staff.

Contact A Librarian to get research help in person, via email or 24/7 chat, and to search for answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Research Guides for librarian-curated lists of databases and other resources for programs, courses, and topics.

Starting your search

Beginning a search doesn't have to be scary if you take a few moments to come up with a strategy before you start.

1.  If you haven't already, choose your topic. And make it a big one. It's easier to refine your topic later than to expand it when you can't find specific information.

2.   Turn that topic into a question. Determine what you want to know about your topic. Usually, this means relating your topic to another idea.

3.  Come up with a few keywords to use as search terms. You should have two to four to start. 

4.  Select a database that is likely to have articles on your topic. 

5.  Type your keywords into separate boxes in the database and click that search button. 

6.  Check out your results. 

  • Too many? Add another keyword to narrow your search or add a limiter (e.g. date) 
  • Too few? Remove one of your keywords or add synonyms (e.g. polar bear OR maritime bear)

Search Terms

Before you begin searching, it's often helpful to come up with a variety of search terms. These are usually nouns - any people, place, or thing that is somehow related to your topic.

Start your search with broad terms. This returns the most article results. As you continue to search, you can begin to narrow down your topic using more specific keywords.

Drawing a bubble chart can help you visualize your search terms. When drawing a bubble chart, you want to think of different subjects and ideas and how they relate to each other and your topic. It also helps to use synonyms because articles don't always use the same terminology.


Bubble chart example over how to find different subjects and ideas