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ACM Digital Library

Guide to using ACM Digital Library, database of articles in computer science

Searching ACM Digital Library

ACM Digital Library has two main search options, the default search box on the home page and an advanced search.

Default home page search

This search box also appears on every page of the ACM Digital Library website. You can use Boolean AND and OR and parentheses to search (see Compiling a search string in our searching guide). It searches all fields in the database record and the full text if available for your terms. 

Advanced search

You can access the advanced search by clicking on the Advanced Search link below the search box on the home page.

Advanced search

  • Choose to search either the ACM Full-Text Collection or the ACM Guide to Computing Literature. The ACM Guide to Computing Literature incorporates the ACM Full-Text Collection but also includes additional items where the full text is not included (see Accessing full text for more details.)
  • Choose the field you want to search from the drop down menu, e.g. Anywhere, Title, Author etc.
  • To add additional rows to your search, click on the plus icon (add search field) at the end of the search box.
  • You can use Boolean AND and OR to connect your search terms.
  • Each row added will be automatically connected in your search using AND. For example this search:

screenshot of search example

  • Row 1: "machine learning" OR "artificial intelligence" OR "neural networks"
    Row 2: "cyber crime" OR "computer crime" OR "cybercrime" 
    will search for:
     ("machine learning" OR "artificial intelligence" OR "neural networks") AND ("cyber crime" OR "computer crime" OR "cybercrime").
    Screenshot of search results showing search chain outlined in the text.
  • The search tips on the ACM Digital Library Advanced Search page note that "by default, an OR relationship is assumed between words within 1 Search Within term." However, it would be recommended to use OR in your search string to connect the terms more accurately rather than relying on the assumed relationship as this can create much larger and less relevant search results.
  • For more information on building your search, see  Editing searches and Search Tips.