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Guide to English: Databases

Our guide to English - helping you make the most of the library

Further databases for English

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.

Getting started with your research

SAGE Research Methods is an online reference collection for researchers at all levels and at all stages of their research.

You can:

  • Read online textbooks and classic works on different types of research, including research in arts and humanities
  • Get help with designing your own research using project planners, methods maps and video tutorials
  • Look up quick definitions of concepts
  • Practice your data analysis skills with example datasets.