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Information Literacy Graduates: Types of Databases

Bibliographic databases

The University of Groningen Library has a license to a number of essential bibliographic databases.

What is a bibliographic database?

  • a database with references to literature, containing descriptions of publications. Bibliographic databases are designed as a tool to find scholarly literature. They usually have excellent search facilities which make them the best tools to find publications about a topic with precision.
  • usually specialized in a specific field of study. They try to cover the most important journals in their fields. Lists of journals covered are mostly published on the database's website. 
  • Mostly bibliographic databases do not have the full text of articles. But they will provide a link to the full text if the Library has a subscription for the journal the article is in.

Go the relevant LibGuide to see a list of databases relevant to your field of interest.

Please note: The list of references at the end of a publication may also be called a "bibliography". This list shows which publication the author has used in his research. In this LibGuide the word bibliography refers to a bibliographic database!

Full-text journal databases

The University of Groningen Library has licenses to the most important full-text journal databases. 

Searches for a specific journal article in SmartCat are based on a full-text journal database. After having found the item you will then be linked to the full text of the article in a journal database.

You can also search directly in full-text journal databases like JSTOR. But be aware that these do not have the advanced search options that bibliographic databases offer. 

List with full text journal databases (e.g. Academic Search Premier, Cambridge Journals Online, Elsevier Science Direct, SpringerLink, Taylor & Francis, Wiley)

Full-text book collections

When you search SmartCat for a specific book you will be linked to the full text of the book in an e-book database. You can also search directly in e-book databases. Some of them have excellent search facilities.

Many e-book collections also use controlled terminology. Ebook Central and EBSCO ebooks Academic use the Library of Congress subject headings commonly used in the United States. Also, you can search through the full text of e-books in e-book collections. 

When you use e-books you will notice that the terms of use are not uniform. Sometimes you can download the complete e-book to your computer or tablet and you can print as many pages as you like. In other cases downloading and printing is restricted (Digital Rights Management (DRM)).

More information on e-books

Cambridge Books Online

Ebook Central (Ebrary and EBL)

EBSCO ebooks Academic

Oxford Scholarship Online