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BIO216 Research Skills Guide: Journal Databases

What is a database?

Journal databases are collections of journals, articles, conference papers, reports, and more, generally arranged by subject. Some will only list abstracts of their collection – ie, they will tell you about the item, but you have to find it somewhere else and some will hold the item itself. The strength of journal databases is that they are subject specific, they have many options for expanding or refining your search results, and they will link between themselves, so that an abstract found on one database can help you find the full text if it is held elsewhere.

Charles Sturt University subscribes to many Journal Databases on your behalf. These databases have been categorised by subject area to help you find what you're looking for more effectively. There are also some journal databases that Primo Search and Google Scholar cannot search.


Go to the ProQuest Natural Science Collection database, and try typing in some of the keywords that you found in the topic analysis section.

  • Did you get less results than Primo Search or Google Scholar?  Being a Science database, the results should be more relevant to your topic.
  • Look at the HTML and PDF links to access the full text of the article.
  • If you cannot find the full text click on the Find it at CSU button to check if the article is available elsewhere.

How to search ProQuest databases


Journal databases can be complex and confusing! If you need more help, check out the Database Help Guide - it is a valuable resource and should help you with all your searching. Another good tip is, that most databases have their own help pages, these are usually found in the top right hand corner of your screen.