Getting Started with Academic Search Complete

Do you need to do research for a school project? Or do you just want to learn more about a particular topic from peer-reviewed sources? Accessing Academic Search Complete through the Plano Public Library is a great way to do research and it’s available for free from home with your library card.

Academic Search Complete

Academic Search Complete is a database available through EBSCO that contains multi-disciplinary full-text articles from a variety of journals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals.

You can access Academic Search Complete through the Plano Public Library website under the “Research & Learn” tab. Academic Search Complete is the first database listed, under the Academics & Homeschooling heading.

Once you have navigated to the database, you should see the main page that looks like this image (left). The search bar in the top middle is where you can enter your search term.

Note on the left hand side you can limit your results by “full text” and by “scholarly (peer reviewed) journals.” Limiting by full text will ensure that you have access to an entire article, not just the summary, so you will have plenty of information to use. Limiting by scholarly journal is useful for research papers and projects, as scholarly journals are considered to be more authoritative.

On the right hand side, note the filter by “publication type” option. If you are just looking for periodical articles, this is a useful way to filter out other content.


Once you have searched for a topic, your results page should look something like this. The list will default to sorting by the newest article, which you can change in the top right corner. You can further refine your results using the options on the left hand side.

From here, you can select the article you want to view by clicking on the title.


This page gives you the bibliographic information for the article, including the author(s), source, and abstract. This is useful if you need to create a bibliography in your research project.

On the right hand side, there is the “tools” menu, where you print, save and cite the article.

On the left hand side, click on the PDF Full Text link to access the full article.


Once you open the full text, the article will open as a PDF which you can scroll through. On the left hand side, you can view the full publication, but often other articles will be unrelated to the topic you are researching.

In the top left corner, you can also download the PDF to your computer and save or print it from there.


Academic Search Complete is just one of the many databases available through the Plano Public Library, and it’s a great place to start for any research project or paper. Have questions? You can always ask for help from a librarian.

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