Using Academic Search Complete
Academic Search Complete is a resource of scholarly and popular periodicals from most academic areas of study including business, social sciences, humanities, general academic, general science, and education. The features of the database include:
- full-text coverage for over 5,300 periodicals with some dating back to the 1940s.
- abstracts and indexing for over 9,300 periodicals
- an extensive collection of peer-reviewed full-text periodicals
- Title and Subject Lists of Periodicals in Academic Search Complete (Select Colleges & Universities)
- illustrations, charts, and graphs for many articles
- PDF or full-page image format, for many articles
Why Should You Use Academic Search Complete?
Academic Search Complete is an interdisciplinary database; it provides coverage of most areas of academic study. It is an excellent place to begin any research project; for some assignments, you may not need to go further.
How Do You Access Academic Search Complete?
Your local library should have a link from its home page to the various full-text databases, but if not, use these steps.
- Go to the following URL: https://libraryguides.mdc.edu/MDCLibraryCatalog/?.
- Select "Search a Specific Database."
- Select your institution and input your Borrower ID and PIN. Select "Log-On."
- You will receive a message that your ID has been validated and you will be redirected to LINCCWeb.
- From the LINCCWeb Resources Screen, select "Alphabetical."
- From the alphabetical list of databases, select Academic Search Complete.
- Select "Connect to Database."
View the following tutorials on Academic Search Complete for an overview of this database, then read the lesson for more details.
The following graphic shows the Advanced search screen of Academic Search Complete:
The following graphic shows a a sample keyword search:
If your topic concerns the issue of legislation impacting civil liberties in relation to terrorism, a typical search in Academic Search Complete might be like this keyword search which uses phrase searching (the default two-word search in this database), truncation and the Boolean AND Operator. This search also limits the results to full text. Another option would be to also limit the search to scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. This database looks for the search terms in the title, author, abstract, and source field when Default Fields are used.
The following graphic shows a sample results screen:
120 articles were retrieved in the search. The articles are arranged in reverse chronological order. Full bibliographic information is provided for each article. To look at the actual article, click on either the title link, the Full Text link or the PDF link.
The following graphic shows some abstracts, which summarize the article content:
The abstracts will help you identify which articles will be most relevant; they may also provide you with alternative keywords for your topic or may help you narrow down a broad topic.
The following graphic shows the full text of an article in PDF format:
FULL-TEXT ARTICLE (PDF FORMAT)
The same article can be viewed in HTML format:
Within the full text of the article, the search terms you used will be highlighted. The citation information, which you will need for documentation purposes, is provided with the full text.
The following graphic shows the navigation and retrieval buttons:
From any screen in the database, you may go back to the main search screen and refine or modify your search. You can also start a new search by clicking on "New Search." While viewing the full text of an article, you can go back to the list of records by clicking on "Result List." Retrieval options (print, e-mail or save) are indicated on each screen. Single articles or multiple articles in folders can be retrieved.
Academic Search Complete (and all other EBSCO databases) allows users to save searches. Saved searches can be retrieved at a later date and executed to retrieve additional citations. Alerts are searches set up to be executed automatically according to a user specified interval. Users will be notified by email when new articles satisfy the search. Instructions for creating search and journal alerts can be found in the following tutorial.