Communication Source

Communication Source is hosted on the Ebsco platform. It is a bibliographic database containing references with abstracts and full text articles about communication science, linguistics, speech and language pathology, media studies, etc.

This database also includes a thesaurus.


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

Search operators

In all databases on the Ebsco platform you can use Boolean operators to make your search broader (OR) or more specific (AND / NOT). When you combine different operators within one search, you should use brackets to check the order of the operations within your search.

You can use the asterisk (*) wildcard:

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

The hashtag (#) wildcard allows you to substitute one extra character for an alternative spelling. For example, you can use colo#r to search for both color and colour.

With a question mark (?) wildcard you can replace one character. 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 or Korean searches.

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

A proximity search is possible (also combined with Boolean operators):

  • With the Near operator (N) you can specify 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 specify 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'.


To generate a copy/paste citation directly, select Cite on the right.

You can import a reference into Endnote or Zotero by choosing Export in the right-hand column, selecting a RIS format there and clicking on Save. With Zotero you can also use the browser plugin.

Alerts and search history

Searches are saved within a session, you can also combine your saved search sets.

To save searches or create alerts, you will first need to create a free account. This account will allow you to access 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 choose the frequency of the alerts.


  • To find an article in full text, choose the button Check for Full Text.
  • In the search results, you will find a chat window at the bottom left to contact the UGent library.
  • When refining on the date facet, you can click on a bar to get a range.

More information

Introduction to Ebsco Host Tutorial

Advanced Searching on Ebsco Host Tutorial


Source reference

Ebsco help page

More tips

Translated tip

Last modified Sept. 11, 2023, 9:28 a.m.