Searching Academic Search Complete

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Start your search

Let's search for some articles on America's favorite family, "The Simpsons."

Your Turn:

  • Enter Simpsons and click Search

             The Simpsons



Review Results

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You got over 30,000 articles! That is a lot to go through.

Let's figure out why!


Review Results

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  • Skim the first few articles
  • Find the article "Reasons why dynamic compression plates are inferior to locking plates in osteoporotic bone: a finite element explanation. "
  • Skim the information just below the title.

Why did this article get returned in your search?

Review Results

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What does this tell you about the default search setting for ASC?

 HINT: Look at Select a Field box next to the search box .

Boolean Searching

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Using only one term to search for sources is not very  effective.  You can use Boolean Searching to combine search terms and find better results.

Your Turn:

  • Search Simpsons AND TV (don't forget AND)

That got rid of a lot of articles! Now we have less than 2000.

  • Skim the different articles that were returned.

Boolean Searching

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What happened when we used AND in our search?

Boolean Searching

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  • Scroll down to about the middle of the page
  • Locate the article "The Simpsons: Still Funny After All These Years." 
  • Take a look at the list of terms under Subjects. 

What does this tell you about subject terms?

Refine Again

  • Click the title of the article "The Simpsons: Still Funny After All These Years."
  • Under Reviews & Products (also a type of subject term), click SIMPSONS, The (TV program).
  • Look at the number of results you get now. 

Selecting a subject term helps you to focus your results even more.

                   Happy Homer Simpson                           

Limiting a Search

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Let's set some filters to narrow our search even more.

We need to find some articles that are newer and published in scholarly journals.

Your Turn:

  Under Refine Results (left side), do the following:

  • Under Limit To, select Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.
  • Use the Publication Date slider to find articles published between 2001 and 2014.
  • Scroll through some of these results.


Limiting a Search

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We can make our search even more specific by adding words like feminism, politics, education, and combining them with Boolean operators.

Let's find a good article to use for a political science paper on "The Simpsons" and politics.

Your Turn:

  • In the second search box, type politics and click Search.
  • Look through your results.

Limiting a Search

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Which article would you choose for our political science topic? (Remember to hover over the magnifying glass for more information.)

Getting the Article

ASC contains the full text to thousands of articles. You will also see results for articles that are available in other databases.

Your Turn:

  • Click the title of the article, "Political Satire and Postmodern Irony in the Age of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart."


Don't like writing citations? ASC will do it for you! 

Your Turn:  

  • Look at the Tools menu on the far right menu
  • Click the Cite icon Cite icon

From APA to MLA, ASC lists the citation in a number of different styles that you can copy and paste into any text editing program.


  These aren't perfect citations; you should consult a style manual to check order and placement of punctuation.



                    lisa overwhelmed

ASC also allows you to email what you find.

Your Turn:

  • Click the Email icon 

Enter an email address and ASC will send an email with the article record.



More Tutorials

Remember, Academic Search Complete is available from the UA Library Homepage under the Search & Find tab under Articles & Databases.

If you want more help with your research, try these tutorials:

Search Strategy Builder

How to Search Effectively




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