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Two paths to articles

If you are doing a literature search on a specific subject, where you want to find multiple articles, it is important to use a subject article database. Some examples of these are PubMed, Web of Science and PsycINFO. Article databases are sometimes called bibliographic databases or reference databases. You can find the right databases for your topic in the subject-specific LibGuide.

If you are looking for a very specific single article, this is called a known item search. You can use SmartCat to quickly get access to it. More information on searching for articles in SmartCat you can find in the SmartCat LibGuide.

Getting 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 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.

Bibliographic databases

Bibliographic databases provide an overview of publications in a particular discipline, about a particular subject or publications by a particular author regardless of the location of the publications. In this respect a database differs from a library catalogue. You should use bibliographic databases if, for example, you want to know all the publications on a particular subject. Bibliographic databases have an extensive search interface and can be searched online. They can be accessed through the Library portal.   

Bibliographic databases contain bibliographic references to all sorts of publications (e.g. journal articles, books, book chapters, reviews, etcetera) They refer to the title, the author, the journal in which the article has been published, in which year, volume, issue, etc. Most bibliographic databases also contain a link to the full-text of the article, or in the case of an e-book, a link to the content of the e-book. This link is only shown if the library actually has a licence for the e-book or e-journal. Sometimes the databases themselves contain the full-text of scholarly publications (journal articles). In that case you have direct access the text. 

Many bibliographic databases relate to a specific discipline (or part of it). Others cover all or several disciplines. The advantage of searching in a bibliographic database is that it enables you to search thoroughly and precisely in a specific discipline or on a specific subject. They offer more extensive search options and generally contain help tools such as a list of keywords geared to the specific discipline or subject or a thesaurus, which simplifies finding relevant publications. For more information on bibliographic databases of interest for your field of study specifically please visit our subject LibGuides

The disadvantage is that you, as a RUG student, do not necessarily have access to the publications you find in these databases. If this is the case you could try using ILL (Interlibrary Loan).

Types of bibliographic databases

Bibliographic databases: these only contain bibliographic references, sometimes with an abstract or a short description of the contents. Some databases provide a link to the full text of the publication in other databases (e.g. in e-journals). An example of a bibliographic database is Historical Abstracts.

Full-text databases: these contain not only the bibliographic reference but also the full-text of the publication, which in many cases is fully searchable. An example of a full-text database can be found at Academic Search Premier.

Citation databases: these contain not only the bibliographic reference but also a link to the citations (= other publications that mention the publication). For an example of a citation database see Web of Science

For an overview of all electronic databases accessible through the Library, click on the link below. In this overview you will find not only bibliographic databases, but also electronic dictionaries, medical atlases, statistical databases, image databanks etc. 

Online databases RUG



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