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Library Research

What are databases?

A library database is an online collection of scholarly resources.

Databases don't hold the resources, but provide the information needed to find it including the author, title, source, publication date, and often an abstract. Many databases have links to the full-text.

Databases can be interdisciplinary (covering several topics), or subject specific (focusing on one particular discipline).

The ANU Library subscribes to over 720 scholarly databases, containing many millions of searchable items including scholarly journal articles; newspaper articles; images; streaming videos; music; and other academic publications.

Searching databases can be a great way to find reliable, peer-reviewed scholarly sources for your research and assessments.

You can see the full range of databases on the Library's e-resources and databases page.

How do I find and access databases?

The Library’s e-resources and databases are electronic information repositories which include collections of journals, books, images, data sets, audio-visual materials and much more. These amount to a wealth of scholarly information which you can use to support and enrich your research, and all are easy to access from the Library’s homepage.

How do I find and access databases?

If you already know the name of the database you wish to use, you can access it by clicking on the letter of the alphabet that corresponds to the first letter of the database’s name. 

However, if you’re not sure which databases to use, just click on the E-resources & databases link, as this enables you to select your databases by subject area. Select a subject area using the drop-down menu, click GO, and all databases containing materials relevant to the area of research you have chosen will be displayed.

In the example below we have selected Multidisciplinary as our subject area. There are currently over one hundred databases assembled under this heading, all of which provide materials spanning a wide range of different subject areas. Remember, you may find materials relevant to your research in a variety of different databases, which may potentially span a range of different academic subject areas other than the one in which you are currently working.

To access a database in order to search or browse, simply click on its name. Clicking on the Show Details link, to the right of each database name, will display a brief summary detailing the kinds of materials which can be found within it. You may also navigate amongst databases by searching for them by name. Alternately, a complete list of databases can also be displayed.

Responsible Officer: University Librarian/Page Contact: Library Systems & Web Coordinator