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Biosciences: Databases

What are databases?

Databases are specialist search engines providing access to a vast range of e-books, journal articles, newspaper & magazine articles, reports, case studies, statistics, conference proceedings, and dissertations & theses. 

Choose a category from the Databases tab to view the full range of databases available to you.

Recommended databases for journal articles

To start an in-depth search simply click on one of the links below, and follow any log-in requests using your Aston University username and password.  Depending on the database, a full-text article can be obtained by clicking on the PDF/HTML link or details of provision can be found by clicking on the Find it @ Aston button. 

A-Z list of databases

If you are looking for a particular database or resource, access a full A-Z list of all subscribed resources below.

Why use a database instead of search engine?

  • Databases are designed to index and store structured information, so they usually perform better than normal search engines which are really designed to index web pages not published works.
  • The content of databases is quality controlled - content is provided by reputable publishers, most journal articles are peer-reviewed and the data has been assessed by experts.
  • Some databases are also specialist tools for analysing statistical data, particularly in relation to the areas of business and finance.
  • To start an in-depth search simply click on one of the links right, and follow any log-in requests using your Aston University username and password.
  • Depending on the database, a full-text article, report, etc can be obtained by clicking on the PDF/HTML link or details of provision can be found by clicking on the Find it @ Aston button.

How to improve your keyword searches for journal articles

Keyword searching is generally what you use when you are first beginning a search. Try to break down your topic or research question into the overall main ideas; these main ideas become simple keywords which you may use to search a Library database. It's useful to keep a keyword list when you are researching a topic. This will help you remember the words you have already tried searching, the combinations you have used, and any new words you noticed in search results that you want to try in your searches later.

Watch this short video to help you improve your search skills: