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Using Databases at Oakton

Academic Search Complete is a comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database. It is one of the largest databases the Oakton Library subscribes to, and it is an excellent place to begin many research projects. Some general tips:

  • Search exact phrases with quotation marks (“”).
  • Use just one or two-word phrases as keywords. The database will not look for common ‘stop words’ like: been, however, so, or, in, the, and, etc.
  • Check the “Subject Terms” at the top of the search screen to find the preferred search terms used in this database.
  • Truncate your terms with an asterisk (*) to find more results. For example, type comput* to find the words computer or computing or compute, etc.
  • When a singular word is searched, the plural and possessive forms of that word will also be searched as long as you do not put your search term in quotation marks (“”).  

Access more detailed directions and videos below.

Click the link below to begin searching Academic Search Complete. (You will need to log in with your myOakton username and password if you are off campus.)


To search Academic Search Complete:

  • Enter your keywords in the search boxes. Try to include only one word or simple phrase per box.
  • Narrow your search by choosing to search by author, subject terms, or other options in the drop-down menu next to each search term box. If you do not pick an option, you are performing a keyword search. In other words, the database will look for your terms in any part of the article record.

Academic search complete searching

  • You can choose to narrow your search parameters further using the options under "Limit your results” (scroll down the main search screen to get the options). Some examples:
    • Full Text: Click this box to find only articles that appear in their entirety in this database.
    • Peer Reviewed: Click this box to find only articles from experts written in peer-reviewed publications.
    • Date Published: Limit by year of publication by entering a starting and ending year in the first and second "Year" boxes.

Academic Search Complete limit your results

Results List

Once you have a list of results from your search:

  • Results appear in Date Newest order (most recent first) under the search term boxes. Click on the “Date Newest” drop-down menu to select other options for sorting.
  • To get more information about an article listed in your search results, click on the title.

Academic Search Complete Results List

  • If you did not initially select options such as “Full Text," “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals,” or "Publication Date" when searching, you can add those search parameters now using the options on the left-hand side of the screen, under “Refine Results.” 
  • The left-hand navigation also allows you to further limit your results by selecting preferred subject headings prevalent in the results. To access this feature, click "Subject" or "Subject: Thesaurus Term" to list the terms, and then select the topics relevant to your search.

Academic Search Complete Refine Results

Article Record

Once you click on an article title, the following options and information appear:

  • HTML Full Text: If this option is available on the left side of the screen, it will provide the complete text for the article, though images may not be included. 
  • PDF Full Text: If this option is available on the left side of the screen, it will provide a scanned copy of the original article, images included.
  • Subject Terms: By clicking one of the "Subjects" listed, you can find more articles about the topic selected.
  • Abstract: Next to the term "Abstract" you can read a short summary of the article.

​​Academic Search Complete Item Record

  • Print or Email: Print or email the article to yourself by clicking "Print" or "E-mail" on the right side of the screen (under "Tools").
  • Cite: Clicking this link on the right-hand side of the screen (under "Tools") will provide a formatted citation. Just select the desired style (APA, Chicago/Turabian, MLA, etc.).

EBSCO print email and cite tools

  • ​Listening Options: If the HTML Full Text is available, scroll down the item record page to access the audio player right before the text of the article. Clicking on “Listen” will read the full article out loud. The player also includes the option to pause, stop, download an MP3 of the audio, and more. 

EBSCOhost Advanced Searching-Tutorial

Length: 2:36