Academic databases (sometimes referred to as abstrating and indexing databases) will find articles from thousands of journals. Search by your keyword to generate a list of results. So, if you were studying business management, examples of journal titles contained within ProQuest Central include:

  • Journal of Global Business Issues
  • Business Management and Strategy
  • Journal of Business and Management

Using them will save you time and effort compared to searching individual journals and will give you a comprehensive set of journal articles. You should use academic databases rather than Google or Wikipedia because the information included in the databases is of high academic quality.

The University pays for access to these quality resources which you can access by logging in with your username and password. This sort of quality information is generally not freely available on the Internet. There are occasions when the Internet is useful, see the Other Sources section for guidance.


For Example

Searching for "employee satisfaction" AND productivity within a typical database generates articles from a wide variety of scholarly journals. Watch the video below to find out more.


Typical information inculded in a database

  Transcript of what's included in a database [DOC]


The library has two large multidisciplinary databases, ProQuest Central and SCOPUS, or you can choose a more subject specific database, such as CINAHL. If you are not sure which databases to use, look at your subject guide page, your librarian has identified the most highly recommended and other databases that you should use.

There is a description of the content of each database and most have a cribsheet or screencast showing how to use them – this is located under the resource title as either a pdf document or a link to the screencast.

The next section contains more detailed information on how to find, access and search databases


Discover@Bolton is a search engine that enables you to search multiple databases for journal articles (and other academic resources) simultaneously via a single interface, which makes it an ideal tool for searching for academic information for your assignments. You can access online journal articles direct from Discover@Bolton. Note that most, but not all databases are included in Discover@Bolton. In your subject guide page you will see which of your databases are included in Discover@Bolton. See our Discover@Bolton section for further information.


Owl's Top Hoot

In your subject guide you will see a database user guide for the most useful database for your subject. This is an in-depth guide to searching on your subject.