Databases For My Subject

What is a database?

A database is a searchable collection of information.

Databases contain references (sometimes with linked full text) to a range of academic research material including:

  • Journal articles
  • Book chapters
  • Books
  • Conference papers
  • Reports
  • Dissertations and theses.

Unlike the Internet (which is unregulated) databases are maintained by subject specialists, contain only good quality material and are regularly updated.

N.B. If you are working off-campus you will need to log in with your network username and password before you can use most of these databases.

Core Social Science Databases

The following databases cover all aspects of the social sciences and are recommended for all courses within the Department.

  • SocINDEX with Full Text - one of the world's most comprehensive and highest quality sociology databases with more than 2,035,000 records covering all aspects of sociology, social work, social welfare, children and young people, criminology and more.

Databases For Related Subjects


The following databases cover all aspects of education including the sociology of education.

  • British Education Index - covers more than 350 journals on education and training related topics. The database also gives access to the Australian Education Index and ERIC (American education literature) if you need an international perspective.
  • Education Research Complete - research material on all aspects of education from early childhood to higher education.
Health & Mental Health

The following databases cover all aspects of health and social welfare including the sociology of health and illness.

  • British Nursing Database - a nursing and midwifery database covering over 200 UK journals and other titles. Useful for all aspects of health and social care.
  • CINAHL Plus with full text - full text journal articles on all aspects of health and social care.
  • Cochrane Library - free, gold standard research on all aspects of health and healthcare.
  • Medline with full text authoritative medical information on medicine, nursing, dentistry, the health care system and more. It covers over over 4,800 biomedical journals. Useful for all health and social care related topics.
  • PsycARTICLES - This is the main full-text database for Psychology. It includes all the journals published by the American Psychological Association back to the first issue, as well as journals from other publishers.

  • PsycINFO - scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books and dissertations from over 2.5 million sources. It covers all aspects of psychology and mental health including criminal psychology, child development, learning disabilities, learning theories and more.

  • PubMed Central - free online digital archive of the U.S. National Institute of Health. Covers biomedical and life sciences journals.
  • TRIP Database - Online clinical search tool designed for health professionals, with an emphasis on evidence-based medicine.  Requires registration (free).

The following are specialist legal databases which cover all aspects of law and legal research. Students who are not studying law but who need to consult legal materials may be able to find all they need by consulting the list of free resources on the Law resources page.

  • Westlaw UK - this is a legal database which provides the full text of Acts of Parliament, Statutory Instruments (SIs) and legal cases. Unlike free Government websites (such as the Office of Public Sector Information, OPSI) Acts and SIs on Westlaw are regularly updated and will show which sections have been amended and which repealed. Westlaw also contains an index to articles in legal journals with links to the full text where available. It is the only database which indexes some core law-related social studies journals including: Child & Family Law Quarterly, ChildRight, Family Law, Magistrate and the Prison Service Journal.
  • LEXIS Library - this is the most comprehensive but also the most complex of all the legal databases. It provides access to UK and European law reports and contains legal cases, legislation, a legal journals index, a newspaper article database and a current awareness service.
News & Media
  • Communication & Mass Media Complete - covers more than 660 journals (with full text of 350) on all aspects communication and mass media. Useful for any topics relating to news and media audiences; press coverage of crime, social issues etc.
  • NewsBank Newspapers UK - full text newspaper articles from all the national and many of the local UK and Ireland newspapers for more than the last 10 years.
  • Access World News - full text newspaper articles from around the world including Africa, Asia, Europe, former Soviet Union, Pacific Rim, Central and South America and the Middle East. Good for researching a wide variety of international developments related to politics, economics, culture and business.

For further news and media resources check out the News and newspapers page.

Social Care
  • Social Care Online - free database maintained by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). It contains records of books, journals, magazines, audio-visual materials and websites and covers all aspects of social welfare, social work and social care. 

The following databases may contain useful material for all social science topics.

  • Academic Search Complete - large general database covering all subject areas - a good one to include for just about any topic.
  • Annual Reviews - updates on recent developments in research. There is an index to reviews in the social sciences including such subjects as sociology, law and social science, political science and psychology.
  • Campbell Collaboration - systematic reviews on education, crime, justice, and social welfare.  Aims to help people make well-informed decisions by preparing, maintaining and disseminating systematic reviews.  
  • COPAC - free access to the merged online catalogues of many major University, specialist and national libraries in the UK and Ireland, including the British Library.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) - covers free full text scholarly journals in all subjects and languages.
  • Ebsco Host Electronic Journals Service - access to the full text of thousands of journals available through Ebscohost. One to include for any topic!
  • ETHOS - Electronic Theses Online - Provides access to published theses from the UK and Ireland. The majority of theses can be downloaded following user registration.
  • ISI Web of Knowledge - access to 6 specialist research databases which cover more than 22,000 journals as well as millions of books and websites.
  • Sage Premier - gateway to searching 480 electronic journals published by Sage with full text. Covers all aspects of the social sciences, criminology, social welfare, sociology and humanities.
  • Scopus - Essential research tool for students undertaking a literature review for a dissertation topic. Scopus provides important data on research papers which have been cited by other authors in previous work.
  • ZETOC - electronic access to the British Library's electronic table of contents service (ETOC). Gives details of over 15 million journal articles and conference records in all subject areas.

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