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INF200 Research Skills Guide: Using Journal Databases

Which databases should I choose?

Visit the Information & Library Studies Journal Databases listing for all potentially useful databases in this area. You might also like to try the Business databases for more general information on management.

Note that you don't have to use every database for every assignment - but nor should you restrict your search to one database only.

Don't forget, you can also use Primo Search and Google Scholar to locate journal articles.

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.

These are similar to the Advanced Search function in Primo, and can make your search easier to construct.

Think of each row as a train of thought. For example, if you were searching for an article about change management in Australian libraries, you could use a new row for each element of your topic. In this case you might search for:

1st search row: "change management"
2nd search row: librar*
3rd search row: Australia*

You'll notice we have used some search tips in the search above. See the Common Search Tips box below for more of these tips. 

If you want to learn more about how to maximise your search using search strategies, contact the Library. We can assist you in creating an effective search strategy.

Common search tips

These search tips can help you to find more relevant results in Primo Search and many other library databases. If these tips don't work in the database you are using check their help section for their set of symbols.

Search Operator Example
Use AND to retrieve results that contain both of your search terms. libraries AND change
Use OR to retrieve results that contain any or all of your search terms. decision making OR resolution
Using NOT to exclude irrelevant results. planning NOT architecture
Combine terms with parentheses to create complex searches. (supervisor OR leader) AND skills
Use quotation marks to search for a phrase "managing change"
Search for terms with different word endings using an asterisk. manag* = manage, managed, managing, management
A question mark can be used to replace a single letter within a word. organi?ation = organisation, organization


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. 

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. 

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