Answered By: Jim Foran
Last Updated: Sep 03, 2015     Views: 109

Academic Search Complete Quick Start Guide

Quickstart Guide


Academic Search Complete contains more than 13700 journals, 9000 of which are full-text and 7850 of which are peer-reviewed.  A broad range of subjects is covered in the humanities, social science, science and engineering


Available as a link from the Library Web Pages:

  •       Select Databases from the blue tabs
  •       Choose Academic Search Complete from the dropdown list of databases and Click Go.  
  •       If you are off campus you will need to enter your Institute logon (same as for Moodle) to access the database.

Basic Search

Click Basic Search.

Enter the term tourism.  Click to expand the Search Options and then tick the box Full Text under Limit your Results.    

The Search Options allow you to use a number of different search modes.  For example:  

Boolean/Phrase                                tourism AND environment

Find all my search terms                  sustainable tourism Ireland

Find any of my search terms           tourism tourists travel

Smart text searching                                   

This allows you to type a sentence or more and the database will interpret it for you.  For example,  "How will the development of the environmental and green agenda affect tourism?"

Another option available when searching is to use a wild card *.  For example, searching tour* will retrieve results including tours, tourism, tourists etc.

Choosing Scholarly (Peer Reviewed Journals) will limit your results to material of an academic nature.

When you have finished choosing your search options Click Search

Your results are displayed. To ensure most recent items display at the top of the list, Click the drop down menu at Relevance at the top of the list and choose Date Newest.

When viewing a list of articles a number of options are shown at the left of the screen to narrow your results:  For example:

  •         Ticking Full Text will limit resources to items with full text available.
  •      Choosing Scholarly (Peer Reviewed Journals) will limit your results to material of an academic nature.
  •      You can also limit your results by Publication Date.

(Each time you choose one of these options you will be asked to Click Update to refine your search)

Advanced Search

Click on Advanced Search (one of the options listed just below the search box)  This provides you with a series of boxes allowing you to create a more complex search.  For example, you could specify that all your search terms should appear in the titles of articles, or, you could search the subject headings assigned to articles.

Academic Search Complete has many other features which you can explore as you become more familiar with the database.  The Sign In link at the top of the screen allows you to set up features such as search alerts, saved searches etc.

Extra Help

You should use the various help features available in the databases.  Check out the ? icon at each stage of the search or click Help at the top of each screen.

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