Finding books and journals and using databases

  • Search the Library catalogue to find out what books (print and e-books), DVDs, videos, print journals,  teaching materials and other items are held at all four campus Libraries.  You can search by author, title or keyword, or a combination of these.  The catalogue will tell you at which Library and where on the shelf things are held.  You can also reserve items through the catalogue.

    For help with reading and downloading e-books, check our guide Finding E-books

    If you want to find journal articles on a topic, go to Finding journal articles

    Most of our journals are available electronically.  If you know the name of the journal you are looking for you should use the E-journal titles tab on the Library homepage to search.  

    • Click on the tab and type the name of the journal in the box eg Journal of Educational Research.

    • Click on the link below the title that covers the year you require.

    • Select the year/volume/issue from the dropdown menu.

    You may be prompted to login at some point in this process: use your normal Brookes username and password.  NB some journals may work slightly differently from above.

    If you want to find the print version of the journal, you should search the Library catalogue.  Print journals cannot be taken out of the Library so you may need to photocopy or scan the article you need.

    Keeping up to date with journals

    If you have a topic and want to find journal articles which have been written on it, you should use a database. 

    A database is way of finding journal articles (and sometimes other material) on a particular topic or by a particular author.  All databases will give you the bibliographic information (eg author, title, journal name) about an article, some will give you an abstract (brief summary) of the article, and some will also give you the full text as well (ie the complete article).

    To find the most appropriate database for your topic, go to your Subject help webpage and see which databases are suggested by your Academic Liaison Librarian.

    How to search a database

    Databases are produced by different companies so they will all look slightly different, but the general principles of searching will be the same:

    • In the search box, type your keyword eg football.  You can type in more than one keyword: you can either type them in the same box or you can type them in separate search boxes if the database has them.  Combine your keywords like this:

    Football OR soccer - this search finds articles that mention either one of these subjects

    Football AND knee injury - this search finds articles that mention both subjects together

    • If you want to find a phrase, you can often search using quotation marks, like this: “American football”

    • Every database will have its own search tips and help section.

     

    Getting hold of the full text of a journal article

    Once you have found a useful article on a database:

    • Look for a link to full text: it may say FTF, pdf or linked full text.  Click on the link to view.

    • No full text link?  Note down the journal title, year, issue and page numbers and search for the journal in the E-journal titles section of the library homepage (see Finding journals: looking for a specific journal title above).  

    • Not available as an E-journal? Check to see if we have the print version by searching the Library catalogue for the journal.

    • Not available from the Library? Consider an Interlibrary loan for the item.