What is it? | Show me how it works. | What subject areas are available? | How do I link to a subject area search? | What if I want more than one subject area included? | Is a custom search box or link available? | How do I get a custom search generated for me?

What is it?

Search Multiple Databases is a subject-based search tool, built on the popular and familiar
Search Multiple Databases on the Library's web site
EbscoHost search interface, that emphasizes speed and breadth in the initial display of results from a simultaneous search of many individual databases.

  • Search Multiple Databases is subject based. Cowles librarians select the databases used in each subject search and determine the order in which results display.

  • The tool works by returning only a limited number of results from each database in the initial display. Researchers can then drill down into the complete result set from any of the databases.

  • Unlike Cowles SuperSearch, this tool only searches research databases. It does not include results from the Library Catalog, Drake E-Scholarshare or selected scholarly web sites. Search Multiple Databases does not yet cover all available databases in a particular subject area. We continue to add databases to the tool on a regular basis.

  • On the Library's web site, Search Multiple Databases takes the form of a simple search box with check boxes for all the subject areas appearing below the box. However, you are not limited to that display. You can link to the search box for an individual subject or even have a customized search box created that's tailored specifically to your needs.

Show me how it works.

Related videos:
Search using the Ebsco interface.
Limiting searches in the Ebsco interface.
Personalization in Ebsco (My EBSCOhost)

Can I include these videos on my course pages?
Yes, see our Handouts and Tutorials page.

What subject areas are available?

[Click on any subject to test. A new tab or window will open.]

How do I link to a subject area search?

Here are the links (urls) for each subject area. You can copy the link as it appears below and insert it into your web pages and documents.


Business & Public Administration



English & Literature

Environmental Science


Interdisciplinary Studies





Pharmacy & Health Sciences:

Philosophy & Religion:


Politics & International Relations:


Study of Culture & Society:

What if I want more than one subject area included?

No problem!
We can create a "custom search box" that can search more than one subject area or individual databases that are already included in any subject areas within Search Multiple Databases. Note that "search box" can refer to an actual search widget (a search box that you type your search in) or as a simple link that takes you to the search page.

However, we cannot combine subject area selection and individual database selection in a single search box. Immediately below, you'll see an example of a custom search that includes three different subject areas both as a search widget and a link.

Is a custom search box or link available?

We can create custom search boxes in a variety of configurations that can appear as either a simple link or an actual search box (widget).

Here, for example, is a custom search box widget that searches the three subject areas of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences and limits the results to scholarly (peer reviewed) journal articles.
Life Sciences Search in Scholarly Journals

Here's that same search (box) in the form of a link: Life Sciences Search in Scholarly Journals. Note that a search link will always arrive at the "advanced search" version of the search screen, while the search widget itself takes the form of a simple/basic search.

We can create a customized search widget or link that based on these parameters:

  • one or more of the subject areas or
  • individual databases that exist in any subject area and
  • optionally allow users to select from among those subject areas or individual databases (widgets only).

Search type:
  • Boolean/phrase searching or
  • All terms ("and" search) or
  • Any terms ("or" search)

Limit results to:
  • Full text and/or
  • References available (citation) and/or
  • Scholarly (peer reviewed) journals

How do I get a custom search generated for me?

Contact the librarian for your subject area directly, or e-mail and ask for a librarian to contact you. We can generally provide links or search box code within one working day.