If you need some definitions of key words, or an overview of the area in which you are working, try looking at our online dictionaries, encyclopedias and other reference sources. You may also find a list of key encyclopedias and reference sources on your relevant subject guide.
Use the Enterprise catalogue to:
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Search the Summon discovery service to find
The results are limited to items covered by Library subscriptions, so you should be able to access everything you find.
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If you need to perform a thorough literature search, for instance if you are starting your PhD, then you will need to search databases relating to your subject. These allow you to run very precise searches and enable you to extend your search to find publications beyond our collections.
Databases will give you references to journal articles, book chapters, books, and other types of publication. Some will give you full-text. Some databases will cover different types of materials, others will give access to only one type e.g. Index to theses. As the subject and journal coverage of these databases varies, you will need to search more than one database to ensure you don't miss useful references.
Google is not recommended for literature searching because you can't be sure of the quality and reliability of the information you find.
Instead try searching Google Scholar which only indexes academic websites. Scholar also covers institutional repositories, such as the University's own CentAUR repository, which can give you full-text articles written by academics at that institution. You can also set up your preferences on Google Scholar to show you when the full-text is available to you via our subscriptions.
Professional bodies and scholarly societies can be a useful source of information on current hot topics and research in progress. As a student, you may also be able to join at a reduced fee, giving you access to their library and information resources. Relevant bodies will be listed in the Useful websites for your subject.