Databases are online collections of resources that you can search to find information. They may cover a particular subject area or cover a range of subjects.

Most databases:

  • have a peer reviewed or scholarly material filter to ensure you get reliable, authoritative information
  • offer advanced search features that allow you to focus your search.

You can search databases to find journal articles, but they may also contain other publication types such as books, theses, newspapers, videos and images. 

Databases usually have a "Help" section with a detailed explanation of how to perform searches.

Focus your search in databases using these search tips:

13. Search history

Some databases keep a record of all the searches that you have done during the current session. Use this search history to:
  • retrieve an earlier search 
  • combine two or more searches that you have already done, using Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT).

Some databases also allow you to set up an account so you can:

  • save your search history to rerun at a later date
  • set up research alerts to be notified when new results, that match your search, are added to the database.