Databases are often used for finding references to published research. Unlike the Library Catalogue, databases often include details of individual articles within journals and sometimes chapters in books, or data itself, and are not restricted to print resources held at this university. Databases are typically produced outside the University and cover a particular subject or range of subjects.
MetaLib: your resource gateway allows you to link to electronic library databases and search for the information that you need. Use Quick Search on the Library home page to find databases by title or subject category on MetaLib, or to do a quick search for articles.
Please note that search tips and help should be available on the database and general advice on choosing and combining search terms is available. Special search methods are available on some databases including citation searching.
Web search engines can be useful to find some information quickly, but it is important that you are critical in judging the quality of the information that you find! You will probably need to use a database to do a more comprehensive search or to use special search techniques not available on search engines. Our page on how to use search engines, including Google, effectively describes the limitations of search engines more fully.
Once you have carried out a search in a database, our Get It! button (or in some databases Get it! as text) may appear next to your results. If you see the 'Get it!' button next to a reference you want, click on it to view a menu of options to get the item that are available to you as a member of the University of Bristol. These options could include a link to the full text online, a link to the record for the item in our Library Catalogue, or a link to our Inter-Library Loans service. Links to full-text are displayed where the Library has provided electronic access to the full-text of the item in question. If there is no full-text electronic version, or we do not have a subscription to the item, the message 'No electronic full text is available for this item' will display. If this is the case, look at the alternative options that are given in the menu.
Advice on accessing databases away from the campus is available on the access to electronic library resources page.
To read about general access problems or for advice and support with electronic resources please see our help and contacts for eResources page.
Electronic resources are protected by copyright law, in the same way as printed publications. Their use is also usually subject to the terms of a licence agreed between the University Library and the publisher. Please visit the Copyright and electronic resources page for further information.