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Getting started with ACM Digital Library

Screenshot of ACM Digital Library

Getting started with ACM Digital Library

Filetype: Video

Runtime: 4:42 minutes

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The primary resource provided by the University of Vermont Libraries for Computer Science research literature is the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Digital Library.

ACM Digital Library provides access to conference proceedings, which are one of the key types of research communication in computer science; and also journal papers, magazine articles, newsletters, books, researcher profiles, and tutorials.

To access ACM Digital Library, follow a link provided by your instructor in Blackboard, or a link on the library website at You can find a link through the Research Databases button and scrolling down.

Or you can use the Research Guides button to navigate to the Computer Science research guide. Here, you will find many useful resources, including a link to ACM Digital Library on the “Articles & Journals” page.

All of these links will ensure you are authenticated as a UVM affiliate and provided with full access.

Also, all of these links will route you to the Advanced Search interface.

Pay attention to the “Search items from” options. The Advanced Search will default to the ACM Full-Text Collection. This is a set of records for all ACM publications, each with options for viewing the full next, plus a small number of records non-ACM books that do not provide the full text.

You have the option of toggling to the ACM Guide to Computing Literature. This is a much larger index of ACM and non-ACM publications. Again, non-ACM publications will not provide the full text – but it is possible to request copies of these items via the UVM Libraries’ interlibrary loan service.

In this video, we will take a look at the ACM Full-Text Collection.

Get started with a broad search on your topic by entering keywords in the “Search Within” box. A good tip is toggling the field to “Abstract”. This increases the probability that your keywords will be central to the content of your search results.

Use character operators – as explained in the sidebar – and additional keywords to make your search as precise as possible.

ACM Digital Library contains publications dating back to 1936, so you may also need to limit your search to a more-recent date range.

When you run a search, the default display will sort the results by the database’s interpretation of relevance. You might want to re-sort them by the number of citations, which will give an indication of which papers have had a significant impact.

The left-side options give you additional options for adjusting your search.

Clicking on the title of an item will give you more information and feature options, but the most important elements are displayed in the list of results:

Look for a “Highlights” link to view an abstract; a blue ereader icon to view the full text in your browser; or a red PDF icon to download the full text to your computer or device.

For more information about ACM Digital Library, ask a librarian at the UVM Libraries.

Find a journal

Where's the full text?

Some databases will give you access to the full text of the article. (Sometimes you need to look around the page for a link to "PDF".)

Some databases also include citations. These provide details about the article's publication - but not the full text.

Have you found a citation and you need the full text?

1. Look for a Find It@UVM button. This will search the library's collections for a full-text version.

Find It @ UVM


If the library does not have a full-text version, it will guide you through the steps for requesting an interlibrary loan (ILL), a free service for getting a copy from a different library.

2. Don't see a Find It@UVM button? Submit an ILL request here.