Finding resources: Using databases

Search Library resources

Our discovery tool will look for books, journal articles and more in one quick easy search - a great place to start your research. For a more comprehensive search, individual databases offer greater functionality and give full access to a tailored suite of resources for your subject.

Search for books, articles, and electronic resources:

Search for books only (does not include all electronic books):

Search for full-text articles:

Search or browse for journals/periodicals:

Journal title begins with


Browse periodicals by subject


Browse periodical titles

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Searching by keyword

As part of your research you may want to find relevant journal articles, but don't have particular examples.  You will need to search for these by keywords.

The quickest and easiest way to start your search is by using the Library search. Alternatively, it's useful to use databases when:

  • you can't find what you need on the Library search
  • you need to conduct a comprehensive search of literature
  • you need to find law resources
  • you need to find market research
  • you need to find raw financial data

Databases can be smaller collections of journals, or tools to find specific types of information, eg market research or financial data.

If you know the database you wish to search, try our Databases A-Z.  Or, if you are unsure which database is best for your subject, recommended examples are given within our collection of Subject Guides.

Database search tips

Each database works in a slightly different way, so check their help pages for advice.

Common search functions they usually share include:

Tip 1: Search where...?

Databases will usually let you choose where to search for your keywords, eg within

  • Abstract
  • Title

This is useful when your search returns too many results.

Tip 2: Connect with OR

This can be a real timesaver when searching for similar keywords eg

  • UK OR "united kingdom" OR britain

Tip 3: "Quotation marks"

When searching for phrases it's useful to enclose them in quotation marks eg "higher education".  This will look for the phrase 'higher education' rather than the individual words, 'higher' and 'education'.

And last, but certainly not least:

Tip 4: Review your keywords!

A database will only find what you tell it to search for. If it doesn’t find what you need, review your keywords.