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A Review of SPORTDiscus with Full Text 


Camille McCutcheon, MA, MLIS 
Coordinator of Collection Management and Administrative Services 
Nursing Book Selector 
University of South Carolina Upstate Library  

Released in 2007, SPORTDiscus with Full Text is an EBSCO proprietary database that covers sports and sports medicine research. Subjects covered include athletic training and coaching, coaching and education, consumer health, exercise science and fitness, health education, kinesiology and exercise science, nutrition, occupational health and safety, orthopedics, physical education, physical therapy, physiology, sociology of sports, sport psychology, sports injuries and rehabilitation, sports management, and sports sciences.  


SPORTDiscus with Full Text contains 665 active indexed and abstracted journals, and 289 active full-text, non-open access journals. Of the 665 titles, 461 are peer-reviewed, and there are 190 active full-text, peer-reviewed, non-open access journals. In addition to journal articles, the database has records for books/monographs, videos, reports, dissertations, magazines, and trade publications. Users can view and download the complete title list on the SPORTDiscus with Full Text information page on the EBSCO web site (https://www.ebsco.com).  

This resource is intended for undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and health professionals studying fitness, health, and sports and is aimed at students in the following majors and programs: allied health, biology, clinical specialties, kinesiology and exercise science, medical sciences, nutrition science, physical education, physical therapy, physiology, psychology, sports management, and sports science. Content experts evaluate journals for inclusion in SPORTDiscus with Full Text and consider criteria such as whether a journal is of high quality and is peer-reviewed. Other criteria include high impact factors, ranking as top journals in industry studies, high usage in reputable subject indexes, and feedback and recommendations from advisory boards, clinicians, and faculty.  


SPORTDiscus with Full Text can be searched separately as a standalone database or together with other EBSCO databases via the online research platform EBSCOhost. SPORTDiscus with Full Text can also be searched via a discovery service such as EBSCO Discovery Service or ExLibris Primo Library Discovery Service.  

SPORTDiscus with Full Text has the EBSCOhost interface, which offers the standard features and options that are available on other EBSCO databases. Users can search the database using the basic search or the advanced search mode. The basic search is used for keyword searching. Users can select a search mode - “Boolean/Phrase,” “Find all my search terms,” “Find any of my search terms,” and “SmartText Searching” - and can limit results by various means, including full text, peer-reviewed, publication name, language, and publication type. The advanced search page default has three search boxes. Each box has a dropdown menu that lists 21 searchable fields, such as author, title, ISSN, and publisher. The same four search modes are available to users in the advanced search mode. In addition to limiting results to the methods mentioned above, other ways users can refine results include by published date, country, document type, and database subset.  

SPORTDiscus with Full Text contains some historical database collections that are located within the database subset section. Some of the databases include AAFLA (Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles), Atlantes Database, Grosse Adapted Aquatics Database, Heracles Database, Olympic Museum Library Database, and SIRLS (Specialized Information Retrieval and Library Services) Database.  

In both the basic and advanced search modes, a thesaurus is available for users to browse for search terms used in the database, and a publications search is available for users to browse a list of titles included in SPORTDiscus with Full Text. This search can also be used to conduct a search on one or more publications within the database.    

Search results are displayed in a two-column display. The left side of the page contains options for users to refine their results by various methods, including full text, publication date, source types, subject, and publication. The remainder of the page contains the indexing and abstracting information for the records in the results list. Users can place search results in a temporary folder for printing, emailing, or saving. They also are able to create a free user account to create search alerts and to save searches.  

SPORTDiscus with Full Text contains many outstanding features. For instance, users are able to access content from their mobile devices with the same features and functionality available to them on desktop computers. Many users are familiar with EBSCOhost so they would not need to learn a new interface to use SPORTDiscus with Full Text. With the EBSCOhost interface, SPORTDiscus with Full Text is very easy to search and to navigate between pages in the database, and there are numerous search options and methods of refining search results.  

There is a “Help” document that is very detailed and contains valuable information about the EBSCOhost research databases. At the end of this document is a help section that is specific to SPORTDiscus with Full Text. This help section is a hidden gem that contains a wealth of information. It would be helpful to users if this section about SPORTDiscus with Full Text could be more prominently featured within the “Help” document. In addition, as of this writing, there are no detailed descriptions of the historical database collections, such as AAFLA and SIRLS, either within SPORTDiscus with Full Text or on the database’s information page on the EBSCO website. Making the SPORTDiscus with Full Text database section more prominent in the “Help" document and adding descriptions for the historical collections would be beneficial for users.  

Business Model 

SPORTDiscus with Full Text is licensed to institutions (colleges, universities, and medical) and is best suited for ones that have undergraduate and graduate students in the following majors and programs: allied health, biology, clinical specialties, kinesiology and exercise science, medical sciences, nutrition science, physical education, physical therapy, physiology, psychology, sports management, and sports science. Subscriptions are not sold to individuals. Annual subscriptions are available for one simultaneous user, two to four simultaneous users, and unlimited simultaneous users. Pricing for academic institutions is based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to FTE, existing EBSCO database subscriptions, consortium agreements and/or buying groups. Multi-year agreements can be arranged. Librarians should contact their EBSCO representatives for pricing information. 

User access to SPORTDiscus with Full Text is authenticated by methods such as IP address, SAML Single Sign-On, Personal User, Referring URL, User ID and Password, Patron ID, Customer Patterned ID (or CPID), Cookie, API User ID/Password, Guest Access, Google Sign-In, and Google CASA. Usage data are available on the EBSCOadmin website, and EBSCO provides reports that are compliant with COUNTER 5 release. The database usage report compiles database sessions, searches, and requests logged, and the title usage report can be used to measure full-text access. Other available reports are for interface usage, link activity, and log-in activity. 


SPORTDiscus with Full Text is a core acquisition for libraries that support students studying fitness, health, and sports. Although there are some titles in the database that can be found in each of the Academic Search versions (Academic Search Complete, Academic Search Premier, and Academic Search Ultimate), there are over 120 full-text, non-open access titles that are unique to SPORTDiscus with Full Text. With the depth and breadth of the database’s rich content, its easy-to-use interface, and its robust searching and refining features, students in many programs would benefit from having access to SPORTDiscus with Full Text. I strongly recommend this excellent resource to institutions with undergraduate and graduate students in fitness, health, and sports programs. 

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