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NRS328 Research Skills Guide: A Refresher on Databases

What is the difference between a database and a database platform?

A DATABASE is an organised collection of information records that can be accessed electronically. In the Library this includes databases which have:

  • journal article (and other) citations, where there is no full-text;
  • journal article (and other) citations, where all records have the full-text attached;
  • a mixture of the first two above (this is the most common);
  • other types of records, eg. videos, images, or listings of people or companies.

A DATABASE PLATFORM is a company which provides access to a number of databases, via a search interface unique to that company, where the databases can be searched/browsed individually or together.

The 4 main database platforms, and examples of databases they contain

Platform Database
EBSCOhost
  • CINAHL Plus with Full Text
  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition
Informit
  • Health Collection
  • Rural & Remote Health
ProQuest
  • Nursing and Allied Health Source
  • ANZ Newsstream
Ovid
  • MEDLINE
  • PsycINFO

It is important to realise that, once you are in one of the database platforms, you can search across a number of databases at the same time. In some cases, the Library provides a package of subject-related databases that are in the same platform. Two examples of this are:

Changing Databases Within the Main Platforms

How do you change databases or choose other databases within the main platforms?

EBSCOhost:

  • At the search screen, click on Choose Databases (link is above the search box(es))
  • At the menu of databases, tick or untick the boxes for the databases you wish to select or deselect
  • Click on OK.

 

ProQuest:

  • At the search screen, click on the link to Change Databases - the link is in the line of links below the ProQuest banner
  • At the menu of databases, locate the database(s) you require in the hierarchy of databases (this can be a bit tricky)
  • Tick or untick the boxes for the databases you wish to select or deselect
  • Click on Use selected databases.

 

Ovid:

  • In the search panel, click on the link to Change, below the tabs for search modes
  • At the menu of databases, tick or untick the boxes for the databases you wish to select or deselect
  • Click on OK.

A sample database record

Here's a screen-shot of the full record in CINAHL for the Dywili article in your first assessment:

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.

Charles Sturt University is an Australian University, TEQSA Provider Identification: PRV12018. CRICOS Provider: 00005F.