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Guide to Foundation Year: Databases

Top databases for Foundation Year

Using databases

What are databases?

Databases are specialised online collections of information that are used by researchers in academic, government and private organisations.

Databases may contain:

  • information about academic research, such as abstracts, reference lists, research data
  • the full text of research projects and journal articles
  • financial and business information
  • statistical data
  • law reports

 

What can I use databases for?

Databases contain more information than is available just in the Newman library catalogue. You may need to use databases, for example, to find information about different companies if you are a Business Management student; or to find Law reports if you are a Law student.

When you start to do more in-depth academic research, for example if you have to write a dissertation in year 3 of your course, databases can be useful for finding useful sources from beyond the Newman catalogue.

Your module leader will be able to tell you if they expect you to be using databases to help you write your assignments.

If you would like help in understanding how to use a database, or how it can help you, you can always speak to an Academic Service Librarian by booking a one-to-one tutorial, or booking on to a library workshop if there is a suitable one available.

Your librarian recommends...

You should not need to use databases in your Foundation Year. If you do want to start using them now you will find useful information in Humanities International Complete for Humanities students and Taylor and Francis Online for Social Science students.

In a database you can:

  • Search for newspaper, magazine and academic journal articles
  • Exclude certain terms from your search to make it more relevant
  • Set up automatic searches to send you new articles on a topic as they are published
  • Save articles and their citation for future reference

You can also use our Full A-Z list of databases to find the resource that you need.