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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

PICI Library Resources

Recommended resources for Practicum in Community Involvement (PICI)

Searching Academic Search Complete & Other EBSCOhost Databases

Basic Search Tips for Any Library Database

  • Exact phrases "in quotes" -- “higher education”
  • Use or for synonyms if you want either term to be present -- athletics or sports
  • Use and if you want all of the terms to be present -- "higher education" and "student athletes"
  • Use an * on the root form of a word to find any version of the root word with different endings -- universit* to find university or universities

Searching Academic Search Complete

Let’s use Academic Search Complete. It covers all subjects, and we own over 60 different databases from EBSCOhost, so you'll be using this search interface a lot here at EWU.

I am interested in finding articles about the impact ebooks have on literacy in children.

Type in your search terms.

  • Put one concept per box, with an or in between synonyms.
  • Type in one term or a “simple phrase”. Do not type in a string of words or an entire sentence.

Academic Search Complete search screen

Narrow results screen

Narrowing Results

We got 53 results -- that's not too bad, but we can narrow further. The database wants to help us narrow down. Note the various limiters on the left side:

  • by type of article: academic journals (scholarly) vs. magazines or newspapers
  • by Subject: Thesaurus Terms (electronic books and literacy look useful) -- NOTE: narrow by subject one at a time, rather than checking both at once!

If the articles seem too specific or too technical, try narrowing to magazine articles.

Reviewing Your Results

 Get more info: For more information about the article, such as a summary, click on the hyperlinked title, or hover over the magnifying glass icon next to the title.

Re-sort the results: These results are by relevance, or which ones have our keywords the most frequently. You can change to by date if you wish.

Note length of the article: How many pages is it? If it’s less than 1 page (1/3p or 1/8p), it’s probably not worth your time.

Finding the Full Text

If the article is available in full in the database, you’ll see a link to HTML Full Text or PDF Full Text. If you are given a choice, choose the PDF one, since that is an exact copy of the original article, with the images, charts/graphs, and correct page numbers.

If the article is not available in the database, you’ll see a yellow Check for Full Text button. Click that and see if it is available in a different database. If it is, a link to the other database will appear, such as the link to ProQuest Research Library here. Click the link to the other database and it should take you directly to the full text of the article.

Check for Full Text results

Save Relevant Articles

When you find articles you would like to examine further, click the link Add to Folder. Once you are finished, click Folder View in the gold Folder has items box on the right side of the screen. You can email all the results to yourself.