Skip to Main Content

Effective database searching

A guide to using databases, and effective search techniques.

Databases give you references to publications, such as journal articles, books, conference papers and theses. Some will also give you the full-text of these publications. Searching databases will save you time as they search across multiple sources at once. You can access them both on- and off-campus, although you will usually need to login using your University username and password.

However, these databases are not limited to the collections at University of Reading Library and are often international in their coverage. So to check if we have access to a specific publication look out for the "Search for Item at Reading" button or link next to your results, and click on it:

You can also search for specific books on the Enterprise catalogue and journal articles on the Summon Discovery service to find out if we have them.

Search Enterprise for specific books

Just enter the author/editor surname and a few words from the title

Search Summon for specific articles

Just paste in the article title to check if we have it.