Before databases came along, we relied on indexes, abstracts, contents pages, and a whole lot of reading when trying to find material relevant to our research.
Databases are incredibly powerful engines that allow us to search the content of thousands of journal articles by keyword, as well as provide us with electronic access to the full text of many of them. Some databases are multi-disciplinary whilst others are discipline-specific.
Lots of our databases are made available to us via the nationally funded IReL consortium (IReL stands for the Irish Research eLibrary), some we subscribe to as an institution; others are freely available online.
Other relevant databases: