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Finding Resources (Speed Databasing)

Guide to accompany our Speed Databasing workshop session.

Activity information

Decorative image showing red roses and petals

Today, you're going to meet and explore some databases - you might just find your perfect match!

We are going to look at 5 different databases over 5 rounds. You have 5 minutes to open the resource, try out a search, and make some notes on your first impressions. We'll then discuss the resource as a group before moving on to the next round.

When you're looking at each resource, try to think about:

  • What sort of materials does the resource cover?
  • Is there an Advanced Search option? How can you can limit/filter your results?
  • Are there any other special features or tools?
  • To whom would you recommend this database?
  • Is this database easy or difficult to use?
  • Are there any limitations to the resource? (e.g. time period, reliability of sources, etc.)
  • What do you like/dislike about the resource?

If you want to make notes, you can use the worksheet and/or the Padlet below:


Here is a list of the different databases that we're going to look at. For each round, you can open the database by clicking on the link. Try searching for the term given, and have a think about the questions above. If you want to, you can also open the corresponding dating profile which gives an overview of the database.

Round 1: JSTOR

JSTOR  is a full-text archive of selected journals, starting with the very first issues, many of which were published as far back as the nineteenth century!

Try searching for the term "childhood development".

Round 2: Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts - or Bob, as their friends call them - is an off-air recording and media archive service. It provides access to TV and radio programmes that have previously been broadcast.

Try searching for the term "second world war".

Round 3: EBSCOhost

EBSCOhost is a research platform with access to resources in a wide range of academic disciplines.

When you load EBSCO, tick the box next to "select/deselect all" and press "continue". This means you will search all the databases on the EBSCO platform.

Try searching for the term "green exercise". 

Round 4: Google Scholar

Google Scholar  is a web search engine that indexes scholarly literature of all formats and academic disciplines.

Try searching for the term "delayed onset muscle soreness".

Round 5: NEXIS

NEXIS  provides access to news from over 2000 global sources with a 40 year archive. It's also a great place to find company information.

Try searching for the term "mental health".

Want to know more?

Your Subject Guide contains a list of databases and other resources that are most relevant to your subject, and are a great place to start if you're not sure which database to use. You'll also find guidance on evaluating resources, search skills and referencing.

Why not try this activity with additional databases and familiarise yourself with more resources that you can use in your studies?

You can also find a full A-Z list of databases that the Library subscribes to.