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:

5. Word variations (Truncation or Wildcards)

Truncate words to retrieve all the alternative terms. It is a good way to save time or ensure you have included all the possible variations.

For example, comput* will retrieve computer, computers, computate, computation.

Some databases also provide internal truncation to facilitate searching on alternative spellings. For example, p?ediatric will retrieve paediatric and pediatric.

Truncation symbols (also called wildcards) vary from database to database. Some databases will automatically include plurals or variant spellings in the search. Familiarise yourself with each database’s requirements by consulting their Help options.