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Information Literacy Archaeology: Full-text databases

Full-text journal databases

In most cases you will use a full-text journal database when you search SmartCat for a specific journal article and are then linked to the full text in a journal database.

However, it is possible to use full-text databases for subject searching; for searching publications about a topic. Especially when you search a very large database, or a database with very interesting journals for your topic, full-text databases can give useful results.

Full-text journal databases are not bibliographic databases. The content of full-text journal databases is not selected with the aim of bringing together the most important journals in the field. Also, the search facilities of full-text journal databases are more limited. They don't use 'controlled vocabulary' for instance, and it is not possible to search by historical period. Still, the sheer number of publications in a large database like JSTOR can make it useful for searching publications.

Full-text databases enable searching through the full-text of articles. This could be useful as well. But be alert and only use specific terms, else you get way to much results!



JSTOR is a database containing the full-text of more than 1,900 academic journals.

JSTOR is a non profit organization that started out as a digital journal archive. When electronic publishing first got underway, publishers used this technique for their current publications. JSTOR digitized the older volumes that had originally been published in print. JSTOR subsequently went through a period of great expansion and now also contains current issues of journals and even e-books. It is a very large database.

The University of Groningen Library does not have a license for all book and pamphlet collections sold by JSTOR. When you want to search only the part of the collection that is available in Groningen, make sure the box Include only content I can access is ticked.

Searching in JSTOR:

You can limit your search to specific subject fields: i.e. Archaeology.

You can search in the full text, in the title and in the abstracts. Tip: looking through abstracts can be very useful when you are searching for a topic.

You can limit your search to specific publication types.

JSTOR has online tutorials. These are not mandatory to this course.

Link to JSTOR

How to search JSTOR: a short video


E-books is a collective term for electronic publications, readable on computers, smartphones, tablets or e-readers. Note: you do not need an e-reader for our e-books!

Many, mostly older, e-books are freely available online. Generally they can be downloaded, copied and shared without restrictions. More recent e-books from commercial publishers are only available under license. The Library pays an annual or one-off fee for these e-books.

Full-text e-book collections

In most cases you will search SmartCat for a specific book and are then linked to the full-text of the book in a database. It is possible though, to perform searches in e-books databases. Some have excellent search facilities.

Many e-book collections also use controlled terminology. ebrary Academic Complete and EBSCO ebooks Academic use the Library of Congress subject headings commonly used in the United States. Palgrave Connect uses a different set of subject categories. In addition, it is possible to search through the full text of e-books in e-book collections, the way you can in e-journal 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. This is the case when books have Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection.

More information about e-books.

Ebook Central

Besides excellent search facilities ebrary also offers features for making notes, highlighting parts of the text, bookmarking pages, etc.

Use the Ebook Central online help and the tutorials op Youtube for help and information. This extra information is not part of this course.

Link to Ebook Central


These Archeaology related LibGuides help you to find relevant databases

For a list of full-text journal collections that contain journals in the field of Archaeology, consult the following LibGuides: