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Social Work Guide: Databases

This Guide has been created to assist Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies students access and use Library Resources effectively.

Choosing the Best Database

Library Search is a simple way to search for information resources, including books and journal articles.  

However, Library Search does not always show ALL the resources held in specialist databases.

Sometimes you will need to use the additional, discipline-specific features provided by specialist databases to find the information that you need for your assignments.  Subject-specific databases are ideal for searching journal literature because they are tailored to a particular discipline, and therefore provide the ability to narrow your search in ways that wouldn't be possible in a general database or search tool like Library Search e.g in a psychology database you can limit to clinical trials, or to age groups studied, or to evidence-based practice.

Databases vary in content, geographical coverage and subject area  and may include more than just journal articles. For example, systematic reviews, conference proceedings, book chapters, patient information sheets, theses, or drug information may also be covered.

Have a look at the Databases list on the right for suggestions with good coverage of social sciences or consult the Databases list from the Library home page.

What are databases?

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