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Criminology: Finding and using library resources: Using Research databases

Online tutorial introducing you to the skills and techniques needed for effective library research

Databases provide access to scholarly research, including journal articles, conference proceedings and books. They also provide access to specific types of materials such as maps, film, news, official papers, standards etc.

wide range of databases are available to you at the University and are accessible 24/7 with your university login.

Below, you can find out more about the core databases relevant to your subject area.  Use the full A--Z database list to access all available databases. 

Depending on your research topic, you may need to explore databases from other subject areas in order to access the full breadth of information available to you.

Take some time to explore the databases and familiarise yourself with searching and downloading information.

A-Z Databases Activities


Database Activities

 

1. Use this Web of Science tutorial for guidance on how to use a research databases to find materials on a topic.

 


2. Select another Criminology related database from the list  below and search for content relevant to you.

Criminology Databases

About Databases

What is a database?

Research databases enable you to see what has been published in the area you are researching. They contain detailed records of thousands of journal articles, book references and conference proceedings. These records usually include the article title, authors, abstract (a brief summary), keywords (to enable your search to find it) and more.

Why should I use a database?

  • They are a valuable way of searching for published scholarly research across a wide number of sources
  • You can build complex searches using sophisticated search interfaces. There will be plenty of options to refine your searches, ensuring that the results are likely to be relevant to your needs
  • They contain huge numbers of records, and thus provide comprehensive subject coverage
  • They also provide frequent (often daily) indexing, and so are very up to date

There are many different databases. Their interfaces will all vary, and they may use different terminology.

However, they all have similar features. Once you are familiar with these, you'll be able to find your way around different databases. You can see the main features in the examples below.

This is what a standard database interface looks like:

Once you click the Search button, the results page appears:

It is important to note:

  • Some databases provide full text access to the articles themselves.
  • Some databases are primarily indexes or bibliographic databases, and although they provide information about the content of a journal article, they may not provide full-text access to the actual article itself.
  • Some databases are a mixture of full-text and indexed/bibliographic access.

 

So, when searching databases, be prepared for an extra step. 

After finding a relevant article or book you need to check whether you have access to that item, either in print or in full-text online.  Many of the databases will have a Check for this at Exeter button; clicking on this link will check whether we have access to the item.

 

For more information and top tips on finding the full text, see the How to access full text articles libguide.

In some cases, material you want to consult may not be available to you at Exeter. 

You will be using vast literature databases which feature many millions of resources from around the world. There are a number of options that may be of assistance to connect you with the information you need. 
 

Document Delivery Service

This service can be used  to request books/journal articles from other libraries. There is a charge for this service. Check online to see what arrangements are in place with your College / Department for covering the costs of this service.  You may have an allocation or your supervisor may provide a prepaid token for the request. 

 

Student Book Suggestion Scheme

Students can make book suggestions to the Library. Submit requests online and they will be reviewed by the library. If the book is unlikely to be used by others after your dissertation work, then you may be directed to the Document Delivery scheme instead, for short term access to material.

 

Library Hub Discover

Use this service to search across the book and journal collections of the UK research and specialist libraries.

You can search to see if copies of books/journals are available in other libraries that you could visit whilst at home over the vacation, or by a special trip.  Always check the access requirements before you travel, if you wish to visit another library.  Find out more about visiting other libraries. 

A-Z databases List

All databases are available via the A-Z Databases List

Each entry in the A-Z database list has an information icon. Hover over that symbol for information about the content that is available in the database and an idea of why it might be useful for research purposes.

Shown below is the information for the Crime, Punishment and {Popular Culture onilne archive which outlines the included content.

 

You can scroll through the A-Z and choose a database if you know exactly what you are looking for.

Select databases by Subject

You can select your subject from the drop down subject menu to see a subset of resources in that category.

The subject listings will highlight the 'core resources'; these are key databases that are likely to be of interest to anyone studying and researching in that area.

Your Subject LibGuide will also highlight recommended databases for you to explore

Select databases by Type

You can select a database type from All Databases Types drop down menu and view a subset of resources in that category.

For example, you may want to focus on news, official publications or reference works databases.

You are likely to use a range of different databases for your assignments - depending on the exact subject nature of your topic.
Key databases with criminology/criminal justice related content are highlighted below

Law Trove - Criminology & Criminal Justice

Law Trove logo

You can browse the Criminology & Criminal Justice books or search across the full Law Trove Collection for material on relevant topics.

Use the Law Trove Guide for support

SAGE

SAGE is a key publisher of criminology and criminal justice literature.  You can browse or search to find material on your chosen topics

IBSS / ASSIA / Proquest Sociology

IBSS and ASSIA are academic research databases on the ProQuest platform (sharing the same interface and features). They are both multidisciplinary resources, offering peer-reviewed academic articles and other research materials from across the social sciences including anthropology, ethnology, ethnography and cultural studies.

ASSIA can also be searched as part of the Proquest Sociology collection. 

Use the IBSS ASSIA or the Sociology Collection Libguides for comprehensive support and training.

As they all share the same search interface, you will soon become familiar with searching and working with your search results.

Use the Search and Filtering demos on the next tabs for support.

 

Web of Science

Web of Science is a large multidisciplinary research database covering all subject areas.

You can use it to discover the global literature on a wide range of topics.  It is not a full text database, but you can use it to discover published material and follow links through to discover the full text available on other services.

Use the Quick Reference Guide to help you run a search and work with your search results

 

Once you click the Search button, the results page appears. You can filter your results, link through to full text and download your results via the search results screen.

 

Psychology & Behavioral Collection

This collection Covers literature concerning topics in emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry & psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational & experimental methods. 

This databases is available via the EBSCO Host platform. Use the video demonstration to learn more about searching effectively on the EBSCO search platform.

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