If you need to delve into the details of a subject area, it may be a good idea to search for literature in relevant academic databases. An academic database will cover one or more academic fields in depth. Such databases may include references to published research or full-text articles from various journals. An academic database allows for precise, thorough, systematic and more complex searches.
Use academic databases if you:
• Have a relatively specific issue that requires a somewhat complicated search.
• Need to be thorough and/or specific in your search.
• Need to perform searches for a (relatively) systematic literature review.
• Want to document and reuse the search.
The University Library offers access to many different databases for most academic fields. Go to the subject pages to view the recommended databases for your subject.
For an overview of all databases we have access to, please see our database overview.
In addition to databases specific to each academic field, the University Library also offers access to the interdisciplinary Web of Science database. The Web of Science database is well-suited to issues that span different subjects and academic fields, as well as acting as a supplement to databases specific to academic fields. One of the main strengths of the database is that it includes a wealth of reference data; including information about which documents reference other documents.
Other tools with overlapping areas of application include Google Scholar and BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) – which are particularly strong when it comes to academic literature that is openly available and free to everyone, so-called Open Access.
Use interdisciplinary reference databases when you:
• Want to establish which documents are frequently read and referenced.
• Want to conduct meticulous and reproducible literature searches for issues that span multiple disciplines.
• Want to supplement systematic review searches from databases specific to academic fields.
• Primarily want to access literature that is openly available to everyone (BASE)