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DIY Research Guide: Search Academic Search Complete

Find answers to frequently asked questions.

Search ASC- Step 1

Head to the Library's Homepage:  In the center of the screen, use the Articles tab to find the link to Academic Search Complete, a giant database of articles.  Click on the link to enter the database and then type in your search terms. 


Article tab link to ASC


The database search box looks like this:


ASC database search box


You can search for titles, authors, and topics with this search box.

Search ASC- Step 2

Review your search results.  Be sure to note if the item is available in full-text.  You can use the Find It button to find the article if it's not immediately available.  Click on the title to find out more about an item or click on the full-text option to jump right into the article.


Academic Search Complete results


You can also mouse over the magnifying glass icon to see the article's abstract/summary.  For directions on using the Find It button, follow the link below:

Search ASC- Step 3

When you click on the title, you'll see the Detailed Record of the item.  It includes citation details, subject terms associated with the article and the abstract/summary.  On the left-hand side is a link to the full-text article.


ASC record


Scroll down to see the abstract and more subject terms.


ASC article abstract

Search ASC- Step 4

The database provides a few tools to help you work with the article.


ASC article tools


Tools include:

  • The Email button, which allows you to send a copy of a full-text article to any email address you choose. 
  • The Cite button, which will generate a citation for the article in multiple formats.  The citation may be imperfect, so be sure to check the citation against the appropriate citation style guide. 
  • The Permalink button, which will generate a special URL for the article.  Do not use the URL in the address bar at the top of the browser!  If you want to get back to this article, be sure to use the Permalink instead.

Please note: the Print button will only print the Detailed Record, not the full article.  To print and download the article, first take a look at the article in full text.

Search ASC- Step 5

When you open the article, you usually have the option to print and download the article.  Be sure to use the PDF reader controls to do so.


ASC PDF tools


Now you can read the article at your leisure.

Search the Catalog- Special Features

Didn't find what you need with your first search?  Try using Academic Search Complete's special features:

Search ASC- Using Limiters

Limiters allow you to narrow your search results based on the criteria you choose. Look for the clickable options on the left side of the screen.


Limiters in Academic Search Complete


For example, you can choose to search for only Full-Text articles.  Another option is to search for Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.  When you click on a limiter, the database will redo the search, limiting the results to items that fit your criteria.  Additional criteria include Publication Date, Source Types, and much more.

Search ASC- Using Advanced Search

If you want to see all of your search options on one screen, try the Advanced Search screen.  Start by clicking on the Advanced Search link at the top of the page.  The link is usually right under the search box.


ASC Advanced Search Link


On the Advances Search screen, you can limit your search by date, add additional Keywords, limit the Publication Date, and much more.


ASC Advanced Search boxes

ASC Advanced Search Options


Once you've set up your search, hit the Search button to see your results.  If you need help with finding new keywords, head to this page for more details:

Search ASC- With Sorting

ASC will automatically sort the results by relevance, meaning that results will be listed in order of relevance to your search terms.  If you want to resort the list, simply change the sorting drop-down menu to your preference.  The list is located at the top of the results and will display the current preference, in most cases it will be Relevance. Changing the preference on the menu will automatically resort the results.


Sorting results in Academic Search Complete

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