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This guide contains static tutorials to using some of the UVA Library's resources.

What is Academic Search Complete?

Academic Search Complete is a database that contains a wide variety of types of sources, including scholarly journal articles, newspapers, magazines, trade publications, and more. Academic Search Complete has wide subject coverage, making it a great place to start your research if you aren't sure where to look.

What does this tutorial cover?

This tutorial shows you how to search for and access sources in Academic Search Complete. You may also find this tutorial helpful:

If you have questions or get stuck at any point in the research process, you can get help from a UVA librarian at this link or by clicking "Ask A Librarian" at the top of this page.

Step 1

Start on the Research page of the UVA Library website, and click on "Academic Search Complete" at the top of the bar on the right side of the page.

Screenshot of

Step 2

You may be asked to log in to NetBadge with your UVA computing ID and password. If you are on Grounds or already logged in, you may be taken directly to the Academic Search Complete search screen without logging in.

Screenshot of UVA NetBadge login page

Step 3

This is the home search screen for Academic Search Complete. There are a lot of options and fields here, which you can explore as you get to know the database better. For now, let's do a basic search. Like most library resources, you will want to use keywords - rather than a sentence or a long string of text - to search. For this example, we will type "gender pay gap" in the first search field and click "Search."

Screenshot of Academic Search Complete home search screen with "gender pay gap" entered into search bar

Step 4

Here, we see the first results for our search. We got over 69,000 results! That is too many results to look through, especially because Academic Search Complete is not as good as Google is at guessing which results are going to be the most useful to you. On the left side of the page, we have options to limit our search to get fewer results. For this example, let's limit our search to Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals published in the last ten years. There are many other options not visible in this image, and you should definitely take advantage of them to make sure you are seeing the most relevant results.

Screenshot of Academic Search Complete results page

Step 5

After limiting our search to Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals published in the last ten years, we now only have 38,000 results. You could continue to narrow your search and get fewer results by adding keywords to make your search more specific and using more tools to limit your search. Let's click on the first result.

Screenshot of Academic Search Complete results page with limiters applied

Step 6

This is what an individual result looks like. Most sources in Academic Search Complete - especially scholarly journal articles - will include an abstract, or a short summary of the piece. You will notice that you can't see the full piece on this page, so you will need to click on one of the options (HTML Full Text, PDF Full Text, or Find@UVA - we recommend PDF Full Text if available) on the left side of the page to view the entire article. On the right side of the page, you also have the option to email the source to yourself or to a friend.

Screenshot of article "The persistence of pay inequality: The gender pay gap in an anonymous online labor market."

Step 7

You can also click "Cite" on the right side of the page to generate a citation for this article. Citations are available in most major styles, and you can copy and paste the citation into your works cited page. However, you will always want to check the citation against whatever standard you are using, as automatically generated citations usually contain some small formatting error.

Screenshot of article result with citation option highlighted

Step 8

If you would like to get a link so you can easily return to this page, click the "Permalink" option on the right side of the page and copy the link that appears just above the article title. Do NOT copy the link in the bar at the top of your browser! That link will NOT return you to this page, and it will be very difficult to find this article again.

Screenshot of Academic Search Complete result page with Permalink highlighted

Step 9

It is very important to try multiple searches with different combinations of keywords. Unlike Google, Academic Search Complete doesn't automatically know that you might also be interested in articles about income inequality when you search for "gender pay gap," so you will need to search for both terms yourself. You can see here that we got very different results with different search terms, even though both searches are related to the same topic. You can also see that this search - "income inequality AND women" - is using "AND" as a Boolean operator. Be creative with your searches, and don't get disappointed if one search doesn't give you the results you want!

Screenshot of Academic Search Complete results page for the search "income inequality AND women"

Step 10

If you get stuck at any point in time, whether you can't think of a search term, a link is not working, or you just aren't finding what you need, use the Ask A Librarian link at the top of the page to get help from a UVA librarian.

Screenshot of Academic Search Complete with "Ask A Librarian" highlighted.