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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.

Article Tools

Access article tools on the right hand side of the page of your article with some great time saving features. A student favorite is the cite feature.

AddTools to folder

You can use the folder to make it easier to keep track of the articles you are interested in, EBSCOhost has provided a folder in which to keep selected articles. To add articles to the folder, use the Add to folder icon. It’s available both on the result list and when you are looking at the article itself. When you are done looking at your results list, simply click on the folder icon at the top of the page to see just the articles you selected.


You can use this tool to opt to print out a citation style of your choice when you print out your article, as well as estimate the number of pages that will print out.


You can use this tool to opt to email a citation style of your choice when you email your article, as well as the format of the email, subject, comments and which email address(s) you choose to email. The only options you have to use are entering an email address to which the article will be sent.


You can use this tool to opt to save a citation style of your choice when you save your article. If you are going to save more than one document to disk, you probably need to change the file name in the Filename box from the default name assigned by the database to anything you choose. Why? In EBSCOhost the default name for every article will be the same. That means that every time you save a file it will write over the previous document, leaving you with only one document, whichever you saved last. It’s also best to save as Text file or Web page, HTML only.


You can use the Cite icon at the top of every article to get a citation of your article to copy and paste into your works cited page. Formats available are AMA, APA, Chicago/Turabian, MLA and Vancouver/ICMJE.

Create Note

You can add a note to any article. This can be helpful to help you recall what section of the paper you were going to use it in, if it is pro or con, what points it supports, and so on. Unlike the other tools, you do actually have to sign in to EBSCOhost to use this feature.


When databases retrieve articles they create automatically generated link dynamic links that are only temporary. If you copy or bookmark the article from your browser, the link won't exist the next time. If you click on Permalink, EBSCOhost will create a permanent link that will work the next time you or someone you share the article with can use to get it.


Use Bookmark to add EBSCOhost articles to social bookmarking sites, blogs, facebook and much more. Note: anyone accessing off campus will need a COM user ID and password to see the article.

Get the Full Text

Full Text

Access the full text of an article by clicking on Full Text in the left hand column on the article page.

Note: Due to publisher restrictions, not all articles in EBSCOhost are available as full text.

If you did not use the full text limit in your search, you may pull up an article for which the full text is unavailable. If you do not see full text on the left hand side of the page then you have retrieved one of these articles.

Get PDF Only Articles

If what you want is to limit to just PDF versions of the articles, you can only do that in EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete, and you have to do it before you actually search. Here's how:

  1. Before you search, select Advanced Search.
  2. Scroll down until you see the PDF Full Text box and select it.
  3. Now you can Perform your search as you normally would.

Print Out PDF Articles

To print out a PDF article:

  1. Select your article and open it by selecting PDF Full Text.
  2. Use the print icon on the article PDF toolbar to print out your article.

Save PDF to my Cloud

Save Full Text PDFs directly to your favorite Cloud service from the result list: Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive. It's quick it's easy and you don't have to have a flash drive with you. Here's how:

  1. Click Send PDF to my Cloud.
  2. Select your favorite Cloud service and log into it when prompted. It's that easy!