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Information Literacy History: More information about databases

Accessing an electronic database

You can open the electronic databases via the link on the homepage of the library. In this overview you will find not only databases, but also electronic dictionaries, medical atlases, statistical databases, image databanks etc.

The History libguides help you find relevant databases

Another way of accessing a database is by using one of the History LibGuides. They provide direct links to the databases and have the extra advantage of listing all the databases that are particularly relevant for your subject.

There are a number of History LibGuides:

Another interesting LibGuide for History students is  International Relations

Linking to the full text

In most bibliographic databases the University Library has provided a link from the bibliographic reference to the full text of the article or e-book. By using the Get It! button you can check whether you, as a RUG student, actually have access to the full text. In other words, whether the Library has a licence for the e-book or e-journal. The Get It! button has the same function as the View Now button in SmartCat. In addition, full-text databases offer their own links to the text in PDF or HTML.

When you are working from home and are using Google Scholar you have to install the Get it! link first. See the chapter about Google Scholar for information on how to do this.

When there is no link to the electronic full text, it is possible that the University of Groningen Library has a print copy of the book or article. You can check SmartCat to find out.

Saving your references

All electronic databases have features that help you save the references to the literature you want to use. You don't have to write them down on a piece of paper or copy them in a Word-document. When you find interesting publications, you can save them in a folder, or mail them to your e-mail address.

In some databases you can open an account and save the references beyond your current session. You can export references in different formats. You can export them to Reference Management programs. The University of Groningen Library offers RefWorks courses.

Limiting your search to only content available at the University of Groningen Library

Many databases offer libraries a choice of subsets they can subscribe to. More and more databases show the full content, including subsets their library may not subscribe to. In that case it is possible to limit your search to the content that can be accessed.

You can tick or untick boxes like:
  • - hide unsubscribed content
  • - full access only

Databases and SmartCat

The descriptions of all publications in the library databases are loaded into SmartCat. SmartCat is the local version of WorldCat, a very large database with the collections of libraries around the world.

You may wonder why you should use specific databases when their content is included in SmartCat anyway.

The answer is that the search facilities are different. Bibliographic databases offer facilities for precise searching. Full-text databases have the option to search in the full-text. SmartCat does not offer these options.

There are similarities between Google Scholar and SmartCat. Both are very large and searching is not very precise. But there are differences too. The search facilities are different, so is the content. Not every GS publication is included in SmartCat and the other way around.