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:

3. What are you searching?

You can search on very specific terms in databases that search the full text of the references.

You may have to use fewer or less specific terms in databases that only search an abstract, brief description or summary of the references.

The database's Help page will often provide information on what is being searched.