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MID441 Research Skills Guide: Introduction to Journal Databases

Why use a database?

In most essays and assignments – including those for MID441 - you are expected to locate relevant scholarly journal articles to support your response. You can do topic searches for journal articles in Primo Search, but looking for them in a journal database is better, because databases:

  • are often subject-specific, and give more targeted, relevant results
  • have extra and more sophisticated search functions.

Access these databases through the Library’s A-Z Databases webpage where you can browse by database title, or by broad subject category, such as Nursing. The Nursing list should have all the databases you might need, including CINAHL Plus with Full-Text, which is a key international database for nursing and allied health.

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 may be full-text attached. Some of our databases contain other types of records, such as videos, images or other listings.

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

Charles Sturt Library subscribes to databases from four major platforms:

Platform Example of Databases in this platform
  • CINAHL Plus with Full Text
  • SOCIndex
  • ERIC (Education Resources Information Centre)
  • Emcare
  • psychINFO
  • Nursing and Allied Health Source
  • ANZ Newsstream
  • Health Collection
  • Rural & Remote Health

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:

Even though databases in the different packages look a little different, and perform in slightly different ways, the functionality is very similar. Once you've mastered an EBSCO or Ovid database you will be able to apply the principles to the other platforms.

Understanding Databases

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

Online Journal Articles Explained

Searching in a database

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