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Library Guide for English Literature

What is a database?

A library database is a collection of information, or data, that can be searched and used to retrieve reliable academic resources. Some library databases provide access to academic journal articles only (journal databases) but databases can also connect you to research materials including newspapers, magazines, ebooks, web resources and various multimedia. While academic sources, such as peer-reviewed journal articles, can be retrieved via Library Search, a structured database search will allow you to do a focused search for academic articles that directly relate to your topic.

DCU Library subscribes to over 150 databases: some of these are multi-disciplinary (they cover many subjects) while others are subject-specific (they focus on one subject or a group of related subjects). Some databases provide full-text access to academic sources while others provide an indexed list of publications only. The full list of databases can be accessed from the library's A-Z Databases list, see the databases recommended for English Literature below.

The literature you are looking for may be interdisciplinary, so you may need to search databases with a different subject focus. See the databases recommended for other fields in our subject guides or read the description under each database to ascertain subject coverage. 

Resources for researchers

DCU Library highly recommends the SAGE RESEARCH METHODS CORE COLLECTION database

This interactive website is an invaluable one stop interface for all your research methods queries. Its project planner will bring you through all the stages of planning, writing and communicating your research project step-by-step. Access it from the title link above or use our A-Z Databases tab. For more research support, see the library's research services page for information about doing a literature review, managing and publishing your research data and more.

LETS etutorial

Try the LETSfind module of our LETS etutorial and improve your database and web searching skills: 

LETSfind 4 modules:

LETSfind will show you how to search for and evaluate information for your assignments.

You will learn how to: 

  • run simple and more advanced searches with the Library's journal databases
  • find articles using Library Search
  • use Google Scholar and become familiar with our tips and tricks for better Web searching
  • make sure you're finding the most appropriatehigh-quality information you need for your assignments 

Getting started with databases

1. Consider your research question and identify key concepts - see our literature review guide for help.

2. Next, identify keywords and search terms, don't forget to consider alternative words with similar meanings. Use the database's in-built thesaurus or try the UNESCO Thesaurus.

3. Choose a database, just read the database's description to check subject coverage. 

4. Carry out a search - see how below.


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