Flinders University Library
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Library Research Tools

Use this guide to decide the best search tools to use to find resources for your research

Library Research Databases

What are Library Research Databases?

  • The library subscribes to over 300 research databases that allow you to access thousands of journal articles, ebooks, newspaper articles, video and more.
  • Research databases are online resources but the content is only available to Flinders University staff and students when you sign in with your FAN and password.
  • Can be multidisciplinary - e.g. ProQuest or discipline specific e.g. PsycINFO
  • Many databases provide full text articles but some are only citations and you use the FindIt@Flinders links to access our subscription.

The entry for each item (book, ebook etc.) on the database is called a record and each record contains bibliographic information in fields such as:

  • author
  • title (article, book chapter, object)
  • source publication title
  • volume
  • issue/part number
  • date of publication
  • abstract
  • descriptors/ subject headings

Why do I need to use them?

Library research databases are the key tool to accessing most of the academic resources available in print and electronic format. FindIt@Flinders is also a database. Most academic, peer reviewed, scholarly information is not freely available on the internet. You may discover an article through a Google search but when you try to use it you will be asked to pay to access. By using FindIt@Flinders and the library research databases you can access all this material that we subscribe to on your behalf. 

How do I know which one to use?

  • The Find Databases link located on top right of the FindIt@Flinders search page provides an A-Z list of databases that also allows you to select databases by subject and by type.
  • The Liaison Librarian recommend the best databases in a subject area in the the Search Smart Subject guides. They also create specific topic search smart guides to help you discover and access resources for a research project or activity.
  • Search FindIt@Flinders, Limit by collection to find the best databases to use in that subject area.
  • Ask a librarian or your subject specialist - supervisor, topic coordinator, tutor etc. what are the best databases in a particular research area.

Things to consider when using library research databases

  • Many search strategies can be used to make library research database searching more efficient.
  • Each database handles search strategies such as boolean operators and truncation in different ways.
  • All databases have excellent help pages and quick tips on how to apply a search.

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