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:

7. Limit or refine your results

Many databases will give you the option to limit your results.

For example, you may be able to specify that you want to retrieve only articles:

  • with full text available
  • from peer-reviewed (refereed) journals
  • published in certain years
  • published in a particular journal.

Look for the different limit options in the database when you are getting too many results.