Open Academic Search Complete
This tutorial will teach you how to use the
college databases for your research & how
to find the MLA (and other styles) citation
for any articles you use.
Use the forward arrows to move through
the tutorial. Be sure to print out the
Certificate of Completion at the end,
and turn in to your professor for lab credit!
If you are a perfectionist and want to
score 100% on the quiz you may take
it as many times as you wish. Just
close out of the tutorial and begin again.
In this context, databases are searchable
online collections of information.
Collin College subscribes to hundreds of
databases, giving you access to millions of
magazine, newspaper and journal articles,
electronic books, streaming videos, streaming
music, art images, and more.
Databases are important because they
provide access to reliable, up to date,
They are available to currently enrolled
students both on and off campus,
24 hours a day.
A search for "electronic cigarettes" in
Google brings up 90,770,000 MILLION
results - the top couple of links are asking
you to shop for electronic cigarettes.
There are a couple of links to articles, but
we'll try the same search in one of the
college databases later in this tutorial and
see what the difference is.
When we do research we are building
on the works of other scholars.
These authors deserve credit for the work
they have done and so you need to cite
any information you use from another source.
Using other peoples ideas and citing the
sources gives the person reading your paper
confidence that you have taken the time to
become familiar with what other scholars
in the field have discovered.
Sources cited also provides a road-map for
readers who are interested in learning more
about your topic.
The database we are looking at on the right is
called Academic Search Complete.
Academic Search Complete is a good database
to use for almost any topic. Later on, we'll learn
how to search through many databases
provided by this company all at the same time.
The information available in databases is
reliable and free to students. By using articles
or information from the databases you will be
"building on the research of others."
One of the biggest problems students
have when using a database is trying
to do a "Google" search!
Library databases are not set up to search
this way...Google is set up to understand
"natural language searches" and answering
Databases don't like questions! Databases like
keywords - with an AND in between keywords...
There are many other ways to limit or expand
search terms (Boolean operators), but we'll leave
that for another day.
The name of the company that distributes
Academic Search Complete is EBSCOhost.
The reason this is of note is that the Collin
College subscribes to over 60 EBSCO
Academic Search Complete (and many
other EBSCO Databases) have a Full Text
Box and a Scholarly (Peer Reviewed)
Journals Box. Each time you do a search
the Full Text box needs to be re-checked!
This is something you should look for when
you open any database. You want to ensure
your results include the Full Text of any
Always click the Full Text box before
doing a search! There is also an option on
your results page to limit to Full Text or
Scholarly Peer Reviewed articles - so don't
worry if you forget to click Full Text before
Our assignment does not require us to use
Scholarly Peer Reviewed (Refereed) Journal
Articles - all basically the same thing! -
material so we will leave that box unchecked.
Suppose you want to do some research on
the use of electronic cigarettes. Think
of a question that could be asked about
How about, Does the use of electronic
cigarettes lead people to stop smoking
Databases can't ignore unnecessary
search terms so putting the entire question
in our search will lead to bad results!
Let's begin with a simple keyword search
for electronic cigarettes.
Click the Full text box and enter
electronic cigarettes in the search box
How many results did you get? Select the number closest to your results as databases add and delete articles daily.
Notice all articles contain a Full Text icon!
That's much better than the 3,120,000
MILLION results Google retrieved and
no one is trying to sell you electronic cigarettes!
Click New Search (at top of page) and
put quotation marks around
Now, how many articles do you have? This may be an approximate number. Choose the answer closest to your results.
to only retrieve articles with those terms
together - otherwise it retrieves everything
with electronic AND cigarettes!
Click on the title of the article, "Beliefs
about E-Cigarettes: A Focus Group Study
with College Students."
Under the title is important information
about the article. Hint, because of the recent
concerns about vaping, this article
has moved to page 26 in your results list. As
of 1/14/2020 it was #252. Vaping has become
such a national problem there are many more
articles being written about smoking & vaping.
This is a good example of research not always
being easy! Research takes time and can
sometimes be very frustrating!
Look at Source: This is the publication
information about where the article was
How many pages is this article?
Do you think this would be a good article to use if you are required to have a 4 page article?
How many authors does the article have?
page. (You may have to use the scroll bar
at the bottom of the page!)
In the middle, click the Cite icon.
How many different Citation Formats are there?
Scroll down to the MLA format.
All English classes use the MLA citation format.
How would you cite this article in your parenthetical citation?
Go back to your search results. Click
Result List at the top of Citation Format.
Run your mouse over the tiny icon to
the right of a title (looks like a folder
with a magnifying glass) and you get a
description of the article.
Do you think this is a valuable feature?
Look at the Subject Terms in this article.
Click the Refine Search arrow to the
left of Search Results, on top of the title.
Let's remember our original question...Does
the use of electronic cigarettes lead
people to stop smoking tobacco products?
I noticed in the Subject Terms of some
of the articles, the term smoking cessation,
Let's try a search using "electronic cigarettes"
and "smoking cessation"
How many articles are there now?
Did you remember to click the Full Text box? If not, click it now (on the left side of the page).
Remember we said earlier, the college
subscribes to many EBSCO databases?
Select Choose Databases at the top of
the search box...
You can select a number of EBSCO
databases to search through. I'm going
Academic Search Complete
Health Source-Consumer Edition
Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection
Religion & Philosophy Collection
Click OK at the top or bottom of the page.
Enter the same search
"electronic cigarettes" and "smoking
cessation." In this instance, don't click
the Full Text box!
How many articles did your search retrieve? Remember to choose the number closest to your results.
Now click the Full Text box on the left
side of the page (once again, you may
need to click the Results List arrow)
and click update.
Now, how many articles do you have?
There are more articles relating to the
medical and psychological aspects of
electronic cigarettes because it's pulling
from a medical and psychology database.
How are your search results sorted?
Look at the Page Options drop down box
What is the largest number of Results Per Page you can request for your searches?
setting up your search results page.
The default number of articles is 10 per
page. We could set this to 50 and it would
help us speed up looking through all these
All EBSCO databases have a Folder feature
in which you can save and store articles on
their server. To use this feature, you would
click the Sign In link at the top of the Home
Unfortunately, If we click it now, it will
take us out of the tutorial. After you print
the Certificate of Completion you can go
back into the database and click Create
a New Account if you haven't already done
this. Use your personal email address
and you will be able to access your folder
after you leave Collin College or through
your local public library between semesters.
I guarantee you won't receive any email
or advertisements from this company.
At least I haven't in 15 years - hopefully
this will continue!
All you have to do to access your Folder
is to remember to sign in to any EBSCO
database. You can also make sub-folders for
individual projects or classes.
You'll know when you're signed in - notice
the MY above the company logo!
You will also see your first name in the
upper right of the page.
The EBSCO databases have a new feature
called Create Note. If you are signed in
to the database you can add personal notes
to your saved articles.
Click on the title of any article to get the
toolbar menu on the right side of the page.
You can add a permanent note if you
are signed in.
Why do you think using the Folders might be a useful feature?
Look at the article titled "E-cigarette use
in England 2014-17 as a function of
socio-economic profile." (Hint: The
article is #242 in the results list at this
time. Approximately on page 25) There's
a problem with it though. What's the
What is the problem with this article?
Click the Full Text box and update your
Look at the choices for opening an article.
Open the HTML and the PDF versions.
What's missing in the HTML version?
The PDF is a scanned copy of the original
article. The HTML version will read the
article to you in an American, British or
Australian accent - you can also request
the article be translated into many other
Hopefully, you can see the advantage
of using library databases for your research.
You can use Google and Wikipedia for
background information and then use the
databases for credible, reliable and current
You'll put a smile on your professor's face
when they see citations from the library
databases in your works cited page!
Remember, if you need help at any time,
Ask a Librarian!
Don't forget to enter your first and last name
and print out the Certificate of Completion.
Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.
You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.