Middle Search® Plus

Middle Search® Plus

Welcome to Middle Search® Plus... an often hidden jewel among the online databases offered today. On this site you will learn about the database, how to access it, and how to use it.

Let’s get started!

What is Middle Search® Plus?

“Middle” Search® Plus Targets “Middle” School Needs
Middle Search® Plus database is a division of EBSCOhost that targets middle school students, grades 6-9. This database provides quality journal and reference resources, including full text for more than 140 popular, middle school magazines. All full text articles are assigned a Lexile reading level. Middle school students are at that stage where materials can be too elementary or too advanced. Lexile levels will allow students, teachers, and parents to choose readings that are best suited for a student’s needs.

Middle Search® Plus contains:
✴ 105,786 primary source documents including 
Essential Documents in American History a database of over 1,000 original historical documents including The Bill of Rights, The Constitution, The Federalists Papers, and the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
✴ 84,774 full text biographies
✴ Reference books including the 
Funk & Wagnall's New World Encyclopedia and American Heritage® Dictionary, 4th Edition from Houghton Mifflin,
✴ The 
Encyclopedia of Animals™ - a database with over 2,200 entries about mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and dinosaurs
✴ Abstract coverage of USA Today
✴ Coverage of the CIA World Factbook (and maps)
✴ And an image collection of 400,972 photos, maps and flags.

Click on the Comprehensive Lists links below to see a full listing of the resources and titles available.

Comprehensive Lists

Why Use Middle Search® Plus?
Unique Reading Needs Met
All full test articles are assigned a Lexile reading level. Middle school students are at a stage where reading materials can be too elementary or too advanced. There is also a wide range of reading levels often stretching from fourth grade through high school. The inclusion of Lexile levels will allow students, teachers, and parents the ability to choose reading that are best suited to a student’s needs.

Safety and Reliability
As you read through the Strengths and Weaknesses listed on this page, it becomes evident that middle school students need a safe, reliable database from which they may research. Many sites that could be Googled contain advanced reading in either level or content for these students or may not be reliable sources. By accessing a database that was constructed with this age group in mind, students will be able to access quality information in a fast and effective manner.

One-Stop Researching
Because Middle Search® Plus’s database contains so many different resources, it becomes a one-stop research center where students may potentially gain all of their information and not have to look in another database or conduct a Google search.

Up-to-Date Information
Middle Search® Plus’s database is updated daily. It often takes more than a year to obtain new print encyclopedias and some information in those reference books is outdated then. By having resources updated daily in this database, researchers can be assured they are receiving the most current information possible.

It is a FREE resource.
In this day of every-shrinking budgets, we have been provided free access to a quality resource. The side bar information explains how this database is offered to Indiana residents.


Content - Content is licensed from reputable publishers, recognized by school library professionals and selected for use in a school environment. Depth of content cannot be matched to search engines such as Google due to publisher/artist copyright protection.
Variety of Content - Middle Search® Plus is just not one database. The articles, reference books, historical documents, and images provide almost everything a middle school student would need when conducting research.
No ads - No angles. No “phishing” for personal data. Just information to match student and educator needs.
Safe Searching - Middle Search® Plus is a safe resource for preteens and teens that will never ask for a student’s name or personal information.
Reading Support - Articles are assigned Lexiles - users can locate materials suited to individual or group reading needs.
Vocabulary Support - The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th Edition is built into the menu bar of search pages and allows quick, easy reference for unknown words.
Multiple Languages - The preference options allow a student to choose from a list of many languages.

Multiple Languages

✴ Article Summaries - Helps students and teachers quickly assess information, practicing essential skills for reading comprehension.
Citation and Bibliographic Assistance - Students can view, save, print and e-mail citations for chosen article(s) in MLA and other formats directly from the database.
Saved Research - Students can save search results in a password-protected folder, offering a secure and organized holding area that can be accessed at home, school, or from any Internet capable computer.


✴ Unfamiliar Resource - Students aren’t familiar with database use and will turn to a Google search or Wikipedia as the ultimate resource. Students need exposure to quality resources such as databases.
Training - Training is needed for effective searching. Tutorials are included in this web site that can remedy the situation for Middle Search® Plus. Remember students also need training to effectively conduct any Internet searches.
Visuals - The site is heavily reading with few visuals. Some readers will get lost among the words.
✴ Reading Levels - Included articles are at middle school Lexile levels and above. Students with below-level reading ability will need assistance with comprehension of some articles.

While there are a few weaknesses, it soon becomes evident that education in the use of the database and searching techniques can quickly turn these to strengths. The inclusion of Lexile levels will assist readers in the finding appropriate reading levels or alert parents and teachers to the student’s need for assistance.

INSPIRE is a collection of academic databases and other information resources that can be accessed by Indiana residents using any computer equipped with an Internet Protocol (IP) address located in Indiana and a Web browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer.

INSPIRE is a service of the Indiana State Library, supported by the Indiana General Assembly through Build Indiana Funds, and is in partnership with Academic Libraries of Indiana.

Students typically know their Lexile range. If they do not, the latest Lexile score is usually available through your school’s library automated system.

How to Access Middle Search® Plus

Gaining access to Middle Search® Plus is as easy as 1, 2, 3.



2. Under “INSPIRE Databases”, click on “Search”.

3. Scroll down the list of databases and click on Middle Search® Plus.

2. Under “INSPIRE Databases”, click on “Search”.  3. Scroll down the list of databases and click on Middle Search® Plus.