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Education (Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary, Health & Physical Ed.)

Subject for Education resources

Library databases

What are library databases and how can I use them?

What are library databases and how can I use them?
This section builds on concepts explained under the Journals and journal articles link at left. If some of these concepts are new to you, that section will provide a useful background.

A library database includes computer-searchable information about very large collection of scholarly literature (such as journal articles), usually within a particular discipline such as Education.  It often also provides access to the full text of those articles.  

Library databases provide an efficient way of searching this literature by keyword, author, article title, journal title, subject, and often by other indexable features at a basic to quite advanced level of sophistication and specificity.

Griffith subscribes to the databases listed in the box below which are of particular relevance for Education studies.  Some are relevant across the whole discipline of Education, and some for specific subsets such as Early Childhood, or Health & Physical Education.   There are also other databases that may include relevant information for your Education studies (eg databases covering Psychology and Sociology).   

  Spotlight on the A+ Education database.  This database provides access to articles from Australian education journals and/or about Australian topics which are not always represented as fully in the other databases.  It covers all levels of education from early childhood to tertiary and adult learning, curriculum design, educational history, planning administration and policy, psychology and sociology, as well as research measurement techniques.

Library databases for Education

What if I am on a web page asking for payment to view an article?

If you are prompted to pay to access an article, you may have found your way to a commercial publisher's site.  It is wise to check if the library provides free access to that article via one of our journal or database subscriptions.  To do this, see the information in the box called "What if the database doesn't have full text for my article?" on this page. 

What about Google Scholar?

What it is ...   

  • Google Scholar is a web-based search engine that indexes scholarly literature across a variety of disciplines and publishing formats such as journal articles, theses and books -- and also 'grey literature' not otherwise typically indexed or easily retrievable.
  • It is also a direct gateway to many materials on the web that are 'open access' -- ie, freely available without need for subscription.  Its coverage of these is more comprehensive than via most university libraries. 
  • This can make it a useful complementary tool to the library catalogue and library databases when searching for scholarly information. 

What it isn't ...

  • It is not a library database.  It is a search engine rather than a database -- and, as such, it does not have the advanced features which can make database searching more efficient, focused and effective.
  • Its coverage is not comprehensive for Education, or any other discipline, and its criteria for selecting scholarly material is not known. 
  • For these and related reasons, if you are using Google Scholar, it is valuable to complement this with searching in one or more relevant specialised library databases to ensure you retrieve the best results for your needs.

Accessing Griffith-subscribed full-text content via Google Scholar

Google Scholar can be set up so that Full Text@Griffith links appear next to a result when that item is available in full text via our Griffith library subscriptions. If you are using our library catalogue or databases list to connect to Google Scholar, these links appear automatically.  Alternatively, if you are accessing Google Scholar directly on the web, you can set this Griffith full text facility up yourself using the instructions here.

What if the database doesn't have full text for my article?

If no full text is available in the database where you found the article,
or via a Find button there, the library may have access to it via another database or a journal subscription. Try the following steps in the order below:

  • Enter the title of the article in double quotes in a library catalogue search and click on Journal articles

No luck?  Try checking for our access to the journal in which the article appeared. 

  • Enter the title of the journal in double quotes in a library catalogue search and click on Journals.

Still no luck?

  • If you are a Griffith staff member or postgraduate student
  • If you are an undergraduate
    • Enter the article title in double quotes in a Google or Google Scholar search in case a freely available copy is accessible, and, if it is not, 
    • It may be worthwhile searching for something else with similar keywords or by the same author/s.