Academic Search Complete

last modified 2016-01-15T14:10:25-04:00

Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) is a multidisciplinary database containing academic, professional, and popular/general resources. This database is a great resource for a wide variety of topics, and a good place to get started on almost any research assignment.

This tutorial covers the basics of searching in Academic Search Complete.  If you prefer, you may also view a video tutorial here.

Starting Out

When you access Academic Search Complete, you will be taken to the advanced search page by default, which looks like this:

You can see that there are many options to help you narrow your search including: language, document type, year published, scholarly (peer reviewed) (which professors like to assign), and full text.

Just as a side note, even though "full text" might be tempting to select, it is possible that the perfect resource is located elsewhere and you would miss out finding it if you selected the "full text" option.

Beginning your search

You’ll want to start by entering your search terms in the boxes at the top so that the box looks something like this:

If you need to, you may also go ahead and limit by scholarly, date range, and language. Click "Search" once you've entered in all of your parameters.

On the left side of the results screen, you can see the total number of results, as well as options for limiting your search further if needed, such as source type and subject. Click on the title of any of these to expand the list.


Finding your article

Skim through the results screen to find articles that are relevant for your research topic. We recommend looking at the subject terms as well as the title, and Academic Search Complete will also allow you to preview the abstract from here. Clicking on the title of the article will provide you with more detailed information.

If it sounds like an article that you want to use, you'll need to check and see if Academic Search Complete has the article in full text by looking for "HTML Full Text," "Linked Full Text," or "PDF Full Text."  Any of these will give you the chance to view the article. If one of those three options isn't present then follow the steps in this guide to access the article in another way.


Saving your article

As you find articles that look relevant for your research topic, click on the icon that says “add to folder” to help you keep track of your resources. 

This is a temporary folder that will only remain available for a limited period of time, so it's important to follow-up by going into the folder through the link at the top of your screen before you exit the database. 

From here, you can view all of the articles you've saved, and then email the ones that you’re interested in using the link on the right. The database will send you the article information and the full-text automatically; you can also have it format the citation in a particular style for you, although we recommend double-checking the citation for correct formatting.