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University of Wollongong Australia

Finding Information: Databases

What is a database?

Designed for academic institutions, databases are a leading resource for scholarly research.


  • support academic study by providing journals, ebooks, newspapers, reports and much more
  • can be subject specific or multidisciplinary
  • provide 'Google-like' search interfaces
  • are regularly updated with current knowledge
  • offer access to information not available on the web

Which database should I use?

We've taken the hard work out of choosing a database by providing curated lists of relevant databases you can filter by faculty subject or type.

Finding full-text articles

  1. To find a journal article you first need to know the article title.
  2. From the Library homepage, type the article title into SEARCH.
  3. SEARCH gives you access to many source types, including academic journals, books, news and reviews.
  4. For journal articles, look for the PDF Full Text and EPUB Full Text links.
  5. Once you authenticate with EZProxy, you should have access to your full-text article.

If you are still unable to access the article, try our ArticleReach or Document Delivery services.

Searching help

Truncation: A symbol at the end of a word to retrieve all variations. For example diet* searches for diet, diets, dietary and dietitian.

The most commonly used truncation symbol is * (asterisk).

Phrase searching: When a phrase is enclosed by double quotation marks, the exact phrase is searched e.g. project integration management.

Proximity searching: Allows you to specify where your search terms will appear in relation to each other. The closer your search terms appear to each other, the closer the relationship of those terms.

The proximity command varies with each database, examples include:

  • pain w/10 morphine will search for the words pain and morphine within "10" words of each other
  • project N/5 success will search for the words project and success within "5" words of each other
  • tax near reform will search for the words tax and reform close to each other - usually within the same sentence
  • animal adj5 behaviour will search for the words animal and behaviour within "5" words of each other

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