Academic Search Complete

Academic Search Complete

Academic Search Complete is the world's most valuable and comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals.

In addition to full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 12,500 journals and a total of more than 13,200 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887, with the majority of full text titles in native (searchable) PDF format. Searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,400 journals.

Help & Guides

There are a number of helpful tips and hints you can use to improve your search results. For example, you can use Boolean operators to link search terms together; and/or limit the search to a specific title.

Boolean Operators
Sometimes a search can be overly general (results equal too many hits) or overly specific (results equal too few hits). To fine tune your search, you can use AND, OR, and NOT operators to link your search words together. These operators will help you narrow or broaden your search to better express the terms you are looking for and to retrieve the exact information you need quickly.

USING THE "AND" OPERATOR: If you have a search term that is too general, you can append several terms together using "AND". By stringing key terms together, you can further define your search and reduce the number of results. Note: Unless you define a specific search field, the result list will contain references where all your search terms are located in either the citation or full display.

For example, type sleep AND walking to find results that refer to both sleep and walking.
USING THE "OR" OPERATOR: In order to broaden a search, you can link terms together by using the "OR" operator. By using "OR" to link your terms together you can find documents on many topics. Linked by this operator, your words are searched simultaneously and independently of each other.

As an example, search sleep AND walking OR waking to find results that reference the terms "sleep" and "walking", or the term "waking".
USING THE "NOT" OPERATOR: In order to narrow a search, you can link words together by using the "NOT" operator. This operator will help you to filter out specific topics you do not wish included as part of your search.

Type: sleep OR walking NOT waking to find results that contain the terms "sleep" or "walking" but not the term "waking".
To further define your results, type: sleep AND walking AND waking to constrict the search to include all terms linked by the "AND" operator.
Grouping Terms Together Using Parentheses
Parentheses also may be used to control a search query. Without parentheses, a search is executed from left to right. Words that you enclose in parentheses are searched first. Why is this important? Parentheses allow you to control and define the way the search will be executed. The left phrase in parentheses is searched first; then based upon those results the second phrase in parentheses is searched.

Generalized Search:
dog or cat and show or parade

Focused Search:
(dog or cat) and (show or parade)
In the first example, the search will retrieve everything on dog or cat shows AS WELL AS everything on parades whether or not the articles refer to dogs or cats.

In the second example, we have used the parentheses to control our query to only find articles about shows or parades that reference dogs or cats.