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How to Use EBSCO Databases & Academic Search Complete

Get the basics, how to cite, how to link to articles and more. EBSCO Academic Search Complete is used an example in this guide, but the EBSCOhost interface works the same way in most of the EBSCOhost databases.


EBSCOEBSCOhost allows you to save items you find to a personal folder. You can save Result List items, persistent links to searches, saved searches, search alerts, journal alerts and web pages. The items you save to your My ebscohost folder remain in your folder until you remove them. You’ll also need an account if you want to check out eBooks.

Create Your Account

To set up your EBSCO account:

1. Click Sign In on the top toolbar of the screen.
2. From the Sign In screen, click Create one now.


3. Fill in the fields on the Create Account screen.
4. When choosing a password for your account, EBSCO requires a strong password. When it meets the requirements, you'll get a green checkmark. 

FYI: You can also choose to create an account using your Google account credentials. Click the Sign Up with Google button and follow the prompts. 

Login to Your Account

The next time you go to EBSCO you'll click Sign In on the top toolbar of the screen and use your credentials to login. 

Set Preferences

You can save preferences if you set up the optional free EBSCOhost account. They include:

  • language preference
  • autocomplete search suggestions
  • what displays on the result list
  • page layout
  • default format including:
    • preferred citation style
    • the email address to which you prefer to send articles
    • email format and export settings.

The biggest time savers here are the email and citation format preferences. To use these preferences, you do have to log in each time, so it is a bit of a trade off.

Save Searches

1. After you have completed your search, click the Search History on the top of your result list. 

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2. Select the search(es) you want to save.
3. Click Save Searches/Alerts.

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4. Fill out the form. 
5. Hit Save. 

To retrieve a saved search (or anything you have saved to your account), just login and click on the folder icon and click on Saved Searches.

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