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Understanding Databases

A guide to help you navigate online databases.

Introduction - What is a Database?

A library database is an organised collection of records or items that you can search and browse using a computer or device. Some databases are subject-specific, while others cover a range of subjects.

Databases are mainly used for journals and articles, but can contain items of all different types:

  • scholarly journals and articles  
  • eBooks
  • theses and dissertations
  • videos
  • images

It is important to remember that while databases mostly hold full-text for some items, other items they may not. Some databases are entirely full-text; others have none at all.


Use the tabs on the left to explore search tips and general information on individual database. Some tabs will take you directly to a database's own LibGuide to help you navigate your way around the website.

Where to find A-Z Database List

For direct access, the A-Z Databases page is the main place to find and access databases. It is located in the Find & Access dropdown menu under Databases.

You can:

  • locate a database by its title from an alphabetical list
  • view the list of New / Trial Databases
  • float your mouse over the information icon to display a short description of the database to find which database is relevant to you

Accessing a Database through the Library Hub

Once you have selected the database you wish to explore, the Library Hub Login page will appear. To login, use your ARK/Paradigm details (email and password). Your Library Hub login allows you to remotely access electronic resources available on the Library Hub.