The interfaces of databases vary, but the principles of searching them and Discover@Bolton are the same. Watch the video below which shows examples of accessing and searching databases.

Download a transcript of this video [MS Word]


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. On your subject page you will see which of your databases are included in Discover@Bolton. See our Discover@Bolton section for further information.

Abstract only articles

The databases contain lots of full-text articles. However, some journals are available as abstract only without full-text availability. If you wish to access an article of this type, firstly, click on the 360 Link to Full Text icon (this may display differently in different databases), if the full text of the article is available in another database you can click on the link provided to access it. If a link isn’t available you may wish to order the article via the Library’s Inter-Library Loan service. Inter library loans can be particularly useful if you are researching a relatively obscure or specific topic, as you might when researching for a dissertation, but make sure you have explored all of the relevant full-text articles available to you.

For advanced search techniques please see Search Strategies in the Advanced Research Skills section.


Owl's Top Hoot

Off-campus access: check the Access Notes under each of our resource links for any extra steps.


Once you have mastered the basics of retrieving relevant journal articles from databases, have a look at the Advanced Research Skills section. You will learn how to develop a search strategy and refine your search skills further.



  • Using databases and Discover@Bolton allow you access to full-text quality academic journals
  • Access them via the databases A-Z or your subject page from the library web pages
  • Plan your search strategy in advance – think of suitable keywords, combinations and alternatives
  • Run two or three searches to obtain a comprehensive set of results
  • Refine your results by, e.g., date, location etc.
  • Articles can be saved or printed
  • Use Inter-Library Loans for abstract only articles