UC Merced Library logo


Using Academic Search Complete

If you are off campus, you will need to connect to the campus network with the VPN before starting this tutorial.


Use the right arrow at the bottom of this window to move through the tutorial.


This tutorial will show you how to find information written in Spanish in Academic Search Complete, a popular library database.

Use the active web page on your right to complete the tutorial.

What is Academic Search Complete?

Academic Search Complete logo

Academic Search Complete is an easy-to-use search tool that can help you find information on a wide variety of topics. It provides articles from newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals. You can also limit to items written in Spanish or other languages.

Using Academic Search Complete and other library databases can save you time and frustration!

Accessing Academic Search Complete

To access the Academic Search Complete database:

  • Click on the Databases tab in the search box in the upper right hand corner of the library homepage.
  • Click See all databases.

Databases tab on library website

  • Click on the Academic Search Complete link in the right hand column of the page.

Finding Academic Search Complete

Constructing Your Search

Searches that are not too broad yield the best results. Let's say you are researching a broad topic like student nutrition. How could you narrow that down? Add additional concepts like who, what, where, etc.

Who? students, undergraduates, etc.
What? nutrition, eating habits, diet, unhealthy, etc.
Where? colleges, universities, higher education

Now, combine these concepts to ask a research question. For example:

Do eating habits have an effect on student success in college?

It's a good idea to brainstorm for other potential terminology for each concept. For example:

nutrition OR "eating habits"

college OR university

students OR undergraduates

Enter these concepts in the database search boxes.

Click Search.

Sample search in Academic Search Complete

Narrowing Search Results by Publication Type and Language

The list of articles you see in your results list could come from:

  • Newspapers
  • Popular magazines
  • Scholarly journals

Use the icons next to the titles to determine article types.

Narrow down your results to Spanish by using the Language limiter option on the lower left side of the page. Many databases also have similar language limiters you can use to narrow results done to a particular language.

Select Spanish.

Keep in mind that you might not get as many results as you would in English.

Select Spanish using the language limiter

Evaluating Search Results

Once you have your results narrowed down to items in Spanish, use the article titles to evaluate usefulness for your research. Article abstracts can also help you determine relevance.

What is an abstract?

  • Click on the title of any article in your results list.
  • The information you see is called the article record.
  • Scroll down the article record to read the abstract.
  • Repeat this process until you find articles that you can use for your research.

Accessing Full Text

The article record may not include the full text of the article. However, there are several ways to access full text:

  • Click on the PDF Full Text link.
  • Click on the HTML Full Text link.
  • Click on the UC-eLinks button.
  • UC-eLinks will usually allow you to click through to the full text.
  • Occasionally, UC-eLinks may prompt you to request the article through Interlibrary Loan.

What is Interlibrary Loan?

WARNING! Clicking UC-eLinks now will take you to a new tab and you will lose these tutorial instructions. You might want to wait and try this later.

Using Database Tools

Academic Search Complete and most other databases have tools that can help make your research more efficient. For example, the database tools can help you:

  • Find additional articles on the same topic
  • Save, print, or email the articles you find
  • Create citations for bibliographies
  • Create a link back to the article(s)

Using Database Tools

To find additional articles on the same topic:

  • Look at the screen to the left of the article record
  • Look for links that could include Cited References; Times Cited in this Database; Find Similar Results
  • Clicking any of these links may lead you to more useful articles

Full record search options

Using Database Tools

To save, print, email, cite, or link back to articles:

  • Look at the screen to the right of the article record
  • Use these tools to help you keep track of the articles you find.
  • You can even share your article results on Facebook! (See Share Link)

Database tools

Academic Search Complete Help Resources

If you get stuck with your search or have technical difficulties, Academic Search Complete provides phone and email support 24 hours a day M-F, and 9-5 EST on Saturday and Sunday. FAQs and more tutorials are also available. Look for the Help link in the far right of the blue band at the top of the screen to access these resources. You can also get help from a librarian by clicking the Ask a Librarian link.

Help options


This concludes the Finding Spanish Sources in Academic Search Complete tutorial. Now that you've finished:

  • Complete the short 3-question quiz on the next page.
  • Enter your email and your professor's email when prompted. Send the email.
  • Print your quiz results if desired.
  • Let us know what you think about the tutorial by clicking on the feedback link.

Thank you!


Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas, with no spaces (for example, bobcat@email.com,bobcat2@email.com). If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.
Note: It could take up to 10 seconds to generate the certificate. Please do not click the Print/Send button more than once.


What did you think of this tutorial?