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Health Source: Consumer Edition Guide

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What is Health Source: Consumer Edition?

Another EBSCO database, Health Source: Consumer Edition covers topics such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes, drugs & alcohol, aging, fitness, nutrition & dietetics, children's health, and women's health. Its sources include books, pamphlets, reports, and dictionaries in both English and Spanish.

I'm Not a Medical Professional, Will I be Able to Understand the Material?

Generally, yes. This database was composed to be accessible to the consumer. Let's try an example; a search for articles about "older adults".

Here is a citation, the article, and a list of subjects it contains.

There are also other features to help you understand what you find. Try the green tabs across the top:

  • Subjects will give you alternative words for the thing you're looking for; "older people" as well as "older adults".
  • All the thousands of publications can be sorted and browsed by alphabetic order, subject & description, and by matching key words
  • Medical Dictionary will give you definitions of particular medical terms and drugs:


  •  Indexes will allow you to browse sources from a number of categories: 




How Do I Find What I Need?

How to Search: Basic


There are several ways to search this database. Let's start with Basic and do some exploring. This will be the first screen that comes up. Treat the blank box that says "Find" like a blank Google box and enter a keyword. Let's try "older adults".

The first section underneath Limit your results is all about limiters. Limiters help you focus your search. This lets you choose whether or not you want full text (the full article instead of a citation, which only tells you where to find the full article); whether or not you want peer-reviewed journals (these are journals whose articles are checked by other experts before they're published); and the dates for your search. Unless you're an historian, you don't want old medical information!


Once you've entered a search, a list of subjects comes up in the left column. These could help you focus too.

These are the options located at the bottom of the search page. Expanders will let you broaden your search if you don't get enough returns. You could try searching for related words or to see if the words you're looking for are in the text instead of the title.

How to Search: Advanced

This is very much like Basic Search but with more categories. Some of these extras are Cover Story, Product Name, Company Name, Company Ticker symbols, and the ability to search multiple articles and companies at a time.

How to Search: Visual

Visual search is a fabulous new way of finding what you need. Go back to our example. Click on the visual search tab at the top of the screen. Enter "older example" in the keyword blank. After a few seconds, the big circle in the window will fill with smaller circles on related sub-topics. Zoom in on the smaller circles, as these often have others within them as well.

Follow your interest on down to the smallest level and you will be presented with the name of the article, its date, and where to find it. (This information also shows up on the right hand side of the screen so that you can easily copy and paste it.)

How Can I Keep Track of What I've Found?


Temperary Folders
example of temperary folder
On the Search Results page?the one that gives you the list of articles by title?there is a right hand column with an icon and an "Add" link. Click on the one next to the title you like and it will be added to your own folder. When you do that, the folder icon on the top right hand corner will say "Folder has items".

If you click on the folder when it has something in it, it will show the articles inside. On the left you will be able to see all the sorts of things you can save in this folder: articles, images, videos, persistent URLs, even the string of searches that brought you to this point.

Permanent Folders

If you want the items in your folder to be saved from one session to another (even when the computer is turned on and off or if you leave the library one week and come back the next), there is a link at the top of the folder that says "Sign in to my EBSCOhost". If you click on this, it will take you to a page that will allow you to set up a personal account with EBSCO with your own user name and password.

How Can I Share What I Find?

Sending, Printing, and Saving Information


  • Email will let you enter someone's email address, give it a subject, add comments, and send.
  • Print will estimate the number of pages before it prints and there is an online help link to deal with different printers.
  • Save will give you full instructions as to how to save your document in a variety of formats.
  • Export will let you save information in three specialized formats.

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