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Introduction to database searching

If you are searching for a topic or subject rather than a specific article you might like to search one of our databases. These often focus on a particular subject area or discipline and reduce the amount of results you receive from irrelevant subjects.

Databases are collections of resources such as journal articles and conference papers, and also sometimes book chapters and reports. If you are doing a literature search or systematic review they are a key resource to use.

There are two main kinds of database:

  • Bibliographic - they won't show you the full paper straight away, but you can often read an abstract and see the author details. You'll need to check with SFX if King's has access to the journal article
  • Full text - will let you open and read the article directly from the list of results

A-Z of databases by your topic: A-E

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with African Leadership topics. For a more complete list of related databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Global Affairs:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with anatomy topics and resources. For a more complete list of databases related to health subjects, visit the A-Z list of databases for Medicine:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Australian topics. For a more complete list of related databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Global Affairs:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Brazilian topics. For a more complete list of related databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Global Affairs:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Politics topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Politics:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Chemistry topics. For a more complete list of databases related to Chemistry, visit the A-Z list of databases for Chemistry:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Chinese topics. For a more complete list of related databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Global Affairs:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Classics topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Classics:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Comparative Literature topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Comparative Literature:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with nursing & midwifery topics. For a more complete list of databases related to health subjects, visit the A-Z list of databases for Dentistry:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Digital Humanities topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Digital Humanities:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Education topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Education:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with English topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for English:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

A-Z of databases by your topic: F-L

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Film topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Film:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with French topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for French:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Global Health topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Global Health:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Geography topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Geography:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with German topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for German:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Hellenic Studies topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Hellenic Studies:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Ancient History topics. For a more complete list of related databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for History:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Indian topics. For a more complete list of related databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Global Affairs:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Informatics topics. For a more complete list of databases related to Informatics, visit the A-Z list of databases for Informatics:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with International Development topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for International Development:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Legal topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Law:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with London topics. For a more complete list of related databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Global Affairs:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

A-Z of databases by your topic: M-O

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Mathematics topics. For a more complete list of databases related to Mathematics, visit the A-Z list of databases for Mathematics:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with nursing & midwifery topics. For a more complete list of databases related to health subjects, visit the A-Z list of databases for Medicine:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Middle Eastern topics. For a more complete list of related databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Global Affairs:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Modern Language topics.

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Music topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Music:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with psychology, psychiatry & neuroscience topics. For a more complete list of databases related to health subjects, visit the A-Z list of databases for Neuroscience:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with North American topics. For a more complete list of related databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Global Affairs:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with psychology, psychiatry & neuroscience topics. For a more complete list of databases related to health subjects, visit the A-Z list of databases for Nursing:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

A-Z of databases by your topic: P-Z

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Philosophy topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Philosophy:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Physics topics. For a more complete list of databases related to Physics, visit the A-Z list of databases for Physics:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Politics topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Politics:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with psychology, psychiatry & neuroscience topics. For a more complete list of databases related to health subjects, visit the A-Z list of databases for Psychiatry and Psychology:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Russian topics. For a more complete list of related databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Global Affairs:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Theology & Religious Studies topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Theology & Religious Studies:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with War Studies topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for War Studies:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Book a 30 minute online 1-1 with a librarian

Due to COVID-19, our 1-1 appointments have moved online. They will be taking place on Microsoft Teams for the foreseeable future.

How do I book? You can book by clicking the button below. Once you've made your booking, you will be sent an electronic invitation you can use to access the appointment. We recommend joining with video enabled, for optimal benefit. If you can only join to listen/see us and communicate via chat, please let your librarian know ahead of the appointment.

How do I use Microsoft Teams? MS Teams works with Chrome, IE and Edge browsers, and can be downloaded to both Windows PCs and Macs. More guidance is available here: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/teachlearntech/assets/student-view-of-microsoft-teams.pdf. If you are NHS staff, the good news is that Teams has been made generally available to the NHS – further information can be found here  https://support.nhs.net/.

What are the 1-1s for? These sessions are designed to help with using the library's online resources, databases and literature searching. Please note, we cannot assist with proofreading enquiries. Similarly, 1-1 appointments are not intended for supporting systematic reviews, but we can help with the basics like searching databases effectively, if that's where you're stuck. For more help with sys reviews, King's students and staff can consult with a senior librarian on our 'Advanced Searching for Systematic Reviews' forum on KEATs.

What other help is available? Before seeking a 1-1 appointment, we encourage you to try out our other online support channels. We've designed them with your frequently asked questions and common issues in mind. Information on these channels can be found elsewhere on this page, and you can find out how to contact us via email or Live Chat on our Contact Us webpages for further questions.

Until we see you again, stay safe and healthy!

Getting the full text

If a database lists something you want to read but does not provide the full text look for a button that says 'SFX@King's' Image of SFX button. SFX will look up the article you have clicked to check if King's subscribes to its journal. 

King's doesn't subscribe:

Submit an Inter Library Loan for the item. Learn how to submit an Inter Library Loan in the Getting started with the Library section of KLaSS:

I can't see the SFX button

If the SFX button is not available then you should use Library Search to see if the article or book is available through another database.

New to using Library Search?

You can find online tutorials on using Library Search to find books and journals around your subject. Find them in the Getting started with the Library section of KLaSS:

Looking for newspapers?

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with finding Newspaper articles online. For a more complete list of related databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Newspapers:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Looking for case law or legislation online?

Below are a small selection of databases for getting started with Legal topics. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Law:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

Below is a suggestion for getting started with searching for UK Legislation. For a more complete list of databases, visit the A-Z list of databases for Law:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

New to using online databases?

Complete interactive tutorials on literature searching and earn badges in the Finding and Evaluating Information section of KLaSS:

I need more help, where can I go?

New to using KLaSS forums?

Make sure you're enrolled on KLaSS by using the link below:

Enrol onto LIB262: Advanced Searching for Systematic Reviews, the new online course from Libraries & Collections

Are you a Taught (PGT) or Research (PGR) Postgraduate student in the Health Sciences starting a Systematic Review project? Not sure how or where to get started?

Libraries & Collections are offering a new five week online course to help students and researchers develop their searching skills to complete a Systematic Review. You'll work in small groups with other learners, with support from the Library's Learning Design team throughout. Places are limited to 35, so please see the booking link below!

The next iteration of this course starts on: Monday 20 April 2020

Bookings close on: Friday 17 April 2020