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EEP400 Research Skills Guide: Use Journal Databases

Which Databases should I choose?

The Journal Articles page on the Indigenous Studies and Teaching & Education Library Resource Guides provides a list of relevant journals and databases. 

Visit the Indigenous Studies and Teaching & Education Journal Database listings for all potentially useful databases in your area. Note that you don't have to use every database for every assignment - but nor should you restrict your search to one database only.

Journal Database Search Strategies

When you go into a journal database you will notice that many of them feature multiple search boxes that are stacked one above the other in rows.

While they may look intimidating, they can make your search process easier.

Think of each row as a train of thought and use a new row for each element of your topic. Using Assessment item 1 as an example, you might search for:

1st search row: "cultural safety"
2nd search row: Indigenous
3rd search row: Australia*

You'll notice the example above uses a number of search strategies. Check out the Find page for a listing of these tips. 

Tip: Most databases are international in their scope so you will need to include 'Australia' as a search term. However, the Informit platform contains only Australian material. In an Informit database, you won't need to include 'Australia' as a search term to find Australian resources.

Access the Informit collection from the 'I' journal databases page.

Activity 3: Proximity Searching






Proximity searching is another research technique that can help refine your results. A proximity search forces a database to find results where one search term appears within a certain number of words of another search term. The proximity operator varies according to the database. 

Let's try some proximity searching.

1. Choose an EBSCOhost database from the Teaching & Education databases page
2. In the search box, type: "cultural safety" N3 Indigenous

Using N3 will find results where "cultural safety" is within 3 words of indigenous in any order. 

3. This time, search for: "cultural safety" W3 indigenous

Using W3 will find results where "cultural safety" is within 3 words of indigenous in the order in which you have entered the search terms.​​​


Tip: change the number following N or W to either broaden or narrow your proximity searches.

Want to learn more about journal databases?

  • The Library holds a series of Online Library Workshops, some of these focus on journal database searching. 
  • We also have a Databases Help guide that contains a wealth of information on using journal databases. 

Searching in a database

Full Text

Sometimes you will read that a database is 'full text', or that an article can be found in 'full text'. 'Full text' means that the entire document is available online. When a database carries an article in full text there will be a hyperlink to view it as either a PDF or html document. Not all journal databases contain full text.

If an article is not available in full text you may be able to locate it in another database. Clicking on the Find itbutton will allow you to check if the article is available elsewhere. 

Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.

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