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PSY203/PSY453 Research Skills Guide: Using Journal Databases

Why Should You Use Journal Databases?

You should start your research by using the Library's Journal databases because they:

  • are the best source of academic or scholarly information for your assessments
  • help you locate peer reviewed articles
  • are subject specific, so that you get more relevant results
  • have many options for refining results

You can find the Library's databases on the A-Z Databases page. Databases are grouped by subject area, type, vendor or title. As Informit databases contain a lot of Australian materials you might like to start with the Informit (Indigenous) collection of databases.

Specific Informit Search tips

The search... Finds...
"Aboriginal education" the exact phrase "Aboriginal education"
Aboriginal education both words 'Aboriginal' and 'education'
Aboriginal XOR Indigenous either words 'Aboriginal' or 'Indigenous' but not both
subject:"Aboriginal Australians" 'Aboriginal Australians' in a subject field
Aboriginal % education Aboriginal' and 'education' immediately adjacent in any order
Aboriginal ! education Aboriginal' and 'education' immediately adjacent in this order
Aboriginal %5 education Aboriginal within 5 words of education in any order
Aboriginal !5 education Aboriginal within 5 words of education in this order
(Aboriginal AND "higher education") 'Aboriginal' and 'higher education' in the same record
py:>=2012 records with a publication year of 2012 and later

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. For example, if you were searching for an article about the abuse of children in foster care, you could use a new row for each element of your topic. In this case you might search for:

1st search row: "foster care"
2nd search row: child* OR youth
3rd search row: abuse

You'll notice we have used some search tips in the search above. Check out the search strategies page for a listing of these tips. 

Tip: 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.

how to search informit databases

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 it CSU button will allow you to check if the article is available elsewhere. 

Understanding Journal Databases

Need some help with understanding how to use journal databases? See our Database Help Library Resource Guide.