Africa-Wide Information (Ebsco)

Africa-Wide Information is a bibliographic database providing access to more than 3.5 million references and abstracts within African studies.


The database is fully accessible within the UGent network (UGentNet).

Search operators

You can use Boolean operators in all databases on the Ebsco platform to make your search broader (OR) or more specific (AND / NOT). If you combine different operators within one search, it is best to use brackets to structure the order of the operations within your search. 

There are various options for wildcards:

You can use the asterisk (*)

  • after the root of a word: to replace the word ending. With comput* you can search for computer, computing, computers, etc.;
  • within a word: to replace several letters;
  • between two words: to replace one word.

The hash (#) wildcard allows you to catch one extra letter in an alternative spelling. For example, with colo#r you can search for both color and colour.

A question mark (?) can be used to replace one letter. For example, ne?t can be used to search for next, neat, nest, etc.

You can also combine several wildcards within one search. Wildcards cannot be used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean searches. 

Exact Phrase Search: you can keep terms together within a search by putting them between quotation marks (e.g. "social media").

Proximity search is an option (also combined with Boolean operators):

- With the Near operator (N) you can determine how far apart two words may appear. For example, for French N5 couture (max. 5 words between start and end) you will find both 'French couture' and 'French designers of post-war haute couture'.

- With the Within-operator (W) you can determine how far apart two words may appear, in the order you specify. For example, French W5 couture may contain 'French designers of post-war haute couture', but not 'Haute couture and French luxury magazines'.

In the search results, you can refine using the options on the left, e.g. on peer reviewed, subject, publication title or language.

In the Advanced search you can specify the field in which the search term must appear, as well as the publication date (in a range if desired). You can also limit the search to full text, type of source, publisher, publication date and language.


Choose Cite on the right for several reference styles (e.g. APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.).
You can import a reference into Endnote or Zotero by choosing Export in the right-hand column, selecting a RIS format and clicking on Save. With Zotero you can also use the browser plugin.

Alerts & saving searches

Searches are saved within a session, you can also combine your search sets.
To save searches or to create alerts, you’ll first need to create a free account. You can use the account on all databases on the Ebsco platform.
A search query can be saved temporarily or permanently, or you can use it to create an alert. To do so, go to Save Searches / Alerts under Search History/Alerts. You can determine the frequency of the alerts yourself.


- To find an article in full text, choose the button Check for Full Text.

- In the search results you will find a chat box on the right to contact the UGent library.

- When refining the date, you can click on a bar to get a range.

More information

Introduction to Ebsco Host tutorial

Advanced searching on Ebsco Host tutorial

Ebsco Help

Translated tip

Last modified Sept. 2, 2022, 12:05 p.m.