Databases for Computing

  • Essentially a database is just a collection of information. However when we talk about databases at university then usually we're talking about bibliographic databases. A bibliographic database is a collection of references for books, journal articles, conference articles, technical papers, reports, and other publication types, that all relate to a certain topic. For example, Business Source Complete contains lots of references related to business.
    Quite recently the only information contained in a bibliographic database would have been the reference details. For a journal article this would include at least the author/s, title of the article, date of publication, title of the journal, volume number, page numbers, and perhaps an abstract (an abstract is a summary of a journal article). Using the reference details you could then go and find the full-text of the journal article in a library or online. However, it is becoming more common for bibliographic databases to also contain the full-text of the items on the database, perhaps as PDF files. For example, the SAE Digital Library is an entirely full-text database whereas Business Source Complete has some items full-text and some items that are abstract-only (i.e. all the reference details including the abstract but not the full-text).
    Bibliographic databases make research easier because they bring together a huge range of references (and sometimes the full-text articles) relating to a particular subject into a single place. As such, it is a good idea to use bibliographic databases as they will save you time and improve the range and depth of information resources that you use to write your assignments. For example, if you were researching something to do with business then you could search Business Source Complete for relevant journal articles and reports. Likewise, if you were interested in researching technical aspects of diesel engine design then you could search the SAE Digital Library.
  • Key databases for computing

    Database Details
    ACM Digital Library

    ACM has a number of key computing resources.

    You can access fulltext journal articles, conference proceedings, ebooks, videos, and more.

    Guide: How to use ACM.

    Google Scholar 

    Google Scholar contains bibliographic records for a huge range of information sources across the full spectrum of subjects, including those for engineering and mathematical subjects.

    There is no fulltext in this database, only bibliographic information and sometimes links to an external website where you may, or may not, be able to get the fulltext of the information source through Oxford Brookes University subscriptions.

    Google Scholar does not have the advanced features of some bibliographic databases (like Web of Knowledge) so you may want to use the Advanced Scholar Search to restrict your results to the information sources that are most relevant to your topic.

    Guide: How to use Google Scholar

    IEEE Xplore Digital Library

    IEEE publish many of the top journals in the areas of computer science, electronic engineering and telecommunications.

    You can access fulltext of IEEE and IET conference papers, journal articles, and IEEE standards back to 1988.

    Guide: How to use IEEE


    A large collection of electronic books, videos and tutorials (Learning Paths) covering many aspects of computing, programming and information technology. Includes material on programming, data analytics, artificial intelligence and cyber security.

    Also accessible via iOS and Android apps.


    ScienceDirect is a full text database from publisher Elsevier covering a range of subjects including Computing.  Journals include Neural Networks and Information Fusion.


    Very large databases that cover many subjects

    Database Details

    Academic Search Complete

    Academic Search Complete is a large interdisciplinary database which includes some computing titles such as the International Journal of Computer Vision.

    Some articles are fulltext, others just abstracts (summaries) of the fulltext.

    Web of Science

    Web of Science is a database on a wide variety of interdisciplinary subjects. It includes the Science Citation Index.

    There is no fulltext in this database, only abstracts (summaries) of journal articles.

    Guide: How to use Web of Science


    Other databases you might find useful

    Database Details

    Access to Research

    Access to Research is a scheme in UK public libraries to allow free access to academic journals for the public. You can check what journals are available and read abstracts online but full text access is only available in the public library.

    British Standards online

    British Standards are documents that describe the 'best practice' quality for a wide range of goods and services. The standards range from technical specifications for the manufacture of springs to standards of language study tour providers.

    Our subscriptions gives you access to all current British Standards.

    Business Source Complete

    Business Source Complete is a large database that specialises in management, business and economics, though there is an increasing number of computing titles.

    Some articles are fulltext, others are abstract (summary) only.


    PsycINFO is a database for psychology and psychiatry. It is included here because of its interest to researchers in Artificial Intelligence.

    PsycINFO has no fulltext articles, only abstracts (summaries) of journal articles.