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JST204 Research Skills Guide: Use Library Databases

Which Databases should I choose?

The Journal Articles page on the Justice Studies Library Resource Guide provides a list of relevant journals and databases. 

Visit the Law and Justice Studies Databases listing 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.

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

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: "community corrections"
2nd search row: teen* OR youth
3rd search row: alternat*

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.

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. 

Searching in a database

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. 

Using Google Scholar