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's 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 can't 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.


To import a reference into Endnote or Zotero, select 'Cite' to the right of the document. Click 'Export to Bibliographic Management Software (EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, RefWorks, BibTeX, etc.)'. Select 'Direct Export in RIS Format (e.g. CITAVI, EasyBib, EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero)', click 'Save'. REMEMBER: in order to use EndNote via Athena, you must start all your other applications (browser, Word, ....) via Athena as well.

Alerts & saving searches

Searches are saved within a session, you can also combine your search sets.
To save searches (whether temporarily or permanently) 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. Then, 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'll 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 Jan. 18, 2024, 11:47 a.m.