Academic Search Complete

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Academic Search Complete (ASC) is a full-text, multi-disciplinary database.

This is a good database to use for research assignments that require locating magazine and journal articles.

To access Academic Search Complete, click on the Databases tab in the upper left corner of the library homepage ( After doing this,  choose to select By Title "A" or look under Frequently Used Databases and click on Academic Search Complete.

It is important to note if you are accessing the database from off-campus, you will be asked to authenticate via MyLSU.

You can access the Library webpage through your MyLSU simply by clicking "Library Resources" on the left hand side and then "LSU Libraries Web Page" from the drop down menu provided.

Key terms:

Full-text = complete article is accessible within the database, instant access to PDF and or HTML article file

Accessing ASC

Academic Search Complete is an EBSCO database. 

After clicking on the link to access the database, you should be taken to the Advanced Search screen.

In the upper left corner, you will see the EBSCO logo. Immediately to the right of the logo you will see:

Searching: Academic Search Complete

 ASC is one of many EBSCO databases available @ the LSU Libraries.

If you click on the link Choose Databases a pop-up window appears and displays a list of other subject specific, EBSCO databases that you may choose to search simultaneously with ACS.

Periodicals Available in ASC

Because ASC is a multi-disciplinary database, you will be searching a variety of magazines and journals from many disciplines.

To determine exactly which periodicals you are searching when using ASC, click on the Publications tab that is located in the upper left of your browser window, in the blue navigation bar.

In the Publications tab you can enter in the name of periodical or browse alphabetically according to title.

Let's say you wanted to know if articles from Newsweek are searchable via ASC.

Type Newsweek into the search box provided - if the periodical title appears on the list this indicates that you will be able to search for articles published in Newsweek.

Clicking on the periodical title, you will be taken to a page with publication details about the periodical. Here you will discover:

  • Extent of access, coverage 
    • Bibliographic
    • Full-Text
  • If the periodical is peer-reviewed
  • Ability to browse individual volume(s) and issue(s) of the periodical by date
  • Option to search within this publication
    • upper right corner of screen
To exit the Publications tab and return the main search page click New Search.

Understanding Your Search Options

Your search modes are located in the section of the search screen labeled Search Options.

By default, the search mode is set to Boolean/Phrase. This means that you will be creating search strings using your topic key terms and connectors such as "AND," "OR," and "NOT."

To learn more about the other Search modes, click on the blue question mark.


Key term: 

Boolean/Phrase = connect key search terms using "AND" "OR" "NOT."

Ex Topic: Pop culture in the United States

Boolean search: 

pop AND culture AND united states

Understanding Search Limits

ASC offers a variety of limits that you may choose to add to your search.

The more limits you set for your search, the more specific the search will be.

Two helpful limits that appear in ASC and other EBSCO databases are:

  • Full-Text
  • Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals

Full-Text is a format limit. If you select this limit, your search results will only display articles that are available in PDF and/or HTML format(s) within ASC.

Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals limits your search results according to the level of scholarship.

Scholarly and peer-reviewed are often used interchangeably. If a journal is peer-reviewed this means that professionals within the field have reviewed and evaluated the article content and deemed it appropriate and valuable to the body of literature for the discipline.

There are additional limits available that you may want to explore and utilize in your own searches.

Let's Run a Search

It's time to try a search!

Next to the search boxes that we see at the top of the screen, you will also see drop-down boxes. Click the down arrow - this will display your search criteria.

Select a field (optional) is the broadest search that you can run. 

Enter your search terms and click the search button.

Ex: pop AND culture AND united states

Navigating the Search Results

After executing the search, you will be taken to a page that displays your search results.

On the left side of the screen you will see a column that allows you to refine your search results using various criteria such as:

  • Date
  • Source Types
  • Subject
  • Publication

Source type icons are displayed next to each article record.

  • Academic journal = peer-reviewed periodical
  • Periodical = popular periodical

Once you have taken the time to browse the results and you find an article of interest, click on the blue linked title to view the complete, details for the article. 

Article Record

The article record will provide you with the complete bibliographic information for the article.

Anything that appears in blue is linked. If you click on the author statement you will be routed to other articles available in ASC by that author. Clicking on the source title will take you to an information page about the periodical. 

You definitely want to take some time to review the subject terms. These terms will help you expand your search vocabulary and also help you easily link to additional articles on the same topic.

Additional information in the article record may include an abstract and author contact information.

You may have already noticed a PDF and/or HTML icon when you were browsing your search results - click to view the complete text of your article.

Article Record - Tools

The tool icons located on the right side of the screen provide you with a variety of useful options.

Two features to definitely look at are:

  • Cite
  • Permalink
The cite feature will provide you with a bibliographic citation for your article - simply select the correct citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago).
The permalink feature will provide you with a persistent link that will allow you to navigate back to the article record at a later date. This is a great tool to help you keep your resources organized.

Saving Your Research

To save your research, click the Add to Folder icon in the right-hand column, if you are in an individual record.  If you are on the results list, click the blue folder with the plus sign (+).  Doing this will save the article information in a special folder.
Before you end your search session, open the folder and choose to email, print, or save your articles.


ASC is a great database to use to locate articles for research assignments - especially if you are asked to locate scholarly, peer-reviewed articles.

Remember that research takes time.

Be flexible with your search terms and the limits you apply to your search - try multiple combinations and examine the changes in your search results.

Need additional help? Ask us!















Research Department Updated 4/15

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