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Effective database searching

A guide to using databases, and effective search techniques.

Saving your results

Three SD cardsWhen viewing your results you usually have the option to select specific records to keep by marking or tagging them, or you can download all the retrieved records (subject to sensible limits!).

The following methods can normally be used to save your results:

  • Email records to yourself
  • Save onto your computer, memory stick, or cloud storage e.g. OneDrive
  • Print out the resources
  • Export the details into reference management software e.g. EndNote, Mendeley

We recommend saving the results of one search before moving on to a new one.

How do I find out if the Library has the item I need?

When you are looking at your search results on most databases, look out for this button:

A blue 'Search for Item at Reading' button

Click on this and you will see straight away if the item you found is available online from one of our sources. You will often see the Item Finder screen (shown below) with a link direct to the full-text. Where full-text is not available you will be given the option to search the Library catalogue for a print copy, plus other ways of getting hold of the publication. 

Screen shot of the Item Finder screen showing the link to search the catalogue when an item is not available online.

What if it isn't available from the Library?

Databases are usually international and they index a large number of sources. Since these databases are not based on our collection at Reading, we will probably not have all the items you find on them. If an item is not available at Reading you can: