Skip to Main Content

Searching Academic Databases: Home

What are Library Databases?

 A library database is an online collection of information which can be searched for information. Students, staff, and researchers rely on them to find scholarly information. Library databases can contain collections of articles from ebooks & journals, theses, conference proceedings, newspapers, magazines, images, audio, and grey literature.

MU Library pays for you to have access to relevant databases in your subject area. You can access them from the university campus or from home via Off-Campus Access. MU Library Databases can be accessed from our A-Z Listing of Databases on the Library homepage.


Are All Databases Full-Text?

Not all databases are full text. Databases usually have one of three levels of content: index, full-text, or a combination of both.

Indexing databases

  • Indexing databases provide a citation and usually an abstract.
  • Provide no direct access to the full-text of journal articles.
  • Sometimes an index can be the key source of information about the research published in a specific field (e.g. Social Sciences Citation Index is a key database for Social Science).
  • You can use the citation details to search for the full text in Library Search.

Full-text databases

  • Full-text databases will provide access to complete articles.
  • Some full-text databases contain the publications of just one publisher, e.g. Science Direct, Wiley Online Library, and Taylor & Francis. They don't provide a complete overview of what's been published on a topic.

Combination databases

  • Your search results in these databases will include a mixture of both citations with abstracts, and full-text journal articles.
  • These databases tend to cover a range of different subject areas and are known as multi-disciplinary databases, e.g. Academic Search Complete.
  • They include content from a wide range of publishers, and what level of content is made available will depend on the arrangements made with individual publishers.

Benefits of Using Library Databases

Guides & Tutorials for MU Library Databases

Learn how to use the MU Library databases to find research articles, and scholarly e-books, with this collection of vendor-created tutorials, video demonstrations, product tours, and printable user guides.

Choose any tab (labelled by the database suppliers name and in the case of Law by subject) above to select the resource provider from whom you wish to find training materials. You may also select a resource provider from the index below. Check back regularly for newly added training and support tools.

If you have questions or want to report a link not working, e-mail


MU Library eBooks & eJournals

MU Library A-Z of Databases