Research & Referencing

A guide for students and staff on referencing, copyright, creative commons and more



This page will give information about the databases you can use to find useful information. It will teach you what to use each database for and hope to search using some more advanced features. 


What is a Database

Boolean Operations

Open Access Academic Databases



Access millions of publications and connect with 15+ million researchers for free! Discover scientific knowledge, and make your research visible.



Join over 10.5 million Academics and Researchers to access millions of scholarly articles for free! Academia is the easiest way to share papers with millions of people across the world for free.



BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine)

High Wire (Stanford University)


Digital Commons Network



A database is a searchable collection of information. A research database is where you find journal, magazine, and newspaper articles. Each database contains thousands of articles published in many different journals, allowing you find relevant articles faster than you would by searching individual journals.

Some databases provide the full text of articles. Others provide abstracts, or summaries, only.

Searching a Library database is different from searching the Internet.

  Internet Database
Examples Google, Wikipedia Academic Search Complete, JSTOR, OVID, Gale
Authority/Credentials Anyone can publish and anyone does. Difficult to verify credentials. Results are not always scholarly Authority/credentials are guaranteed. Most articles are scholarly and peer-reviewed.
Results Thousands. Duplicates are not filtered out. Many are not scholarly. Hundreds or fewer. Duplicates are filtered out. You can limit to full text.
Relevance Lots of “noise” because there are no subject headings assigned. Information can be biased, untrue, or irrelevant. Databases focus on specific subjects. Offer fewer but more relevant results. Results are from scholarly publishers and authors.
Limiters Can limit by document type (pdf, doc) and source (gov, org, com) Can limit by date, document type, language, format, peer-reviewed status, full-text availability, and more.
Stability of information Information from the Internet is unstable. It can disappear at any time. Researchers will often be asked to pay a fee to access journal articles. (Note: These articles are available to you via the Library as part of your tuition.) Databases are a collection of articles that have appeared in journals. This makes their status more stable than the Internet. The information is paid for by subscription to be offered as part of a student’s tuition.


Oliver Integrated Databases

Gale In Context: High School offers cross-curricular content that includes full-text newspapers and periodicals such as The EconomistThe New York TimesNational Geographic, and Popular Science. There are hundreds of thousands of images, videos, and audio selections that include archival film clips and broadcast video from internationally respected sources, including BBC News and New York Times video.

Encyclopedia Britannica is an authoritative online research reference database. It contains curriculum resources for all year levels including multimedia images, audio and video. Information is sourced from partner institutions and knowledge experts from around the world and is fact-checked to ensure accuracy.

Weblinks is an online database of thousands of teacher-reviewed websites. These websites are curriculum matched and chosen for content that best meets student needs.

Databases Outside of Oliver

Delve into over 30 years of archive content from the well-known science publication New Scientist. Their website also contains 100+ science talk videos - incredible talks with inspiring speakers.

TWIG - Science resources for the curriculum. TWIG contains science curriculum mapped videos made by a team of teachers, filmmakers, writers, researchers, academics, and parents. Search and browse through the mind-map interface to find resources for your class.

External Databases


ANZAC Portal - Australia's military and service history

Auslit - Australian literature and storytelling, with biographical and bibliographical information

Australian Bureau of Statistics - Australia's national statistical agency

Australian Dictionary of Biography - Australia's dictionary of national biography

Australian National Dictionary - A dictionary of Australianisms

Australian Poetry Library - Tens of thousands of poems from hundreds of Australian poets

BBC Earth - Anything from big questions about our Universe to the road to humanity and how we got here

Churchill Archive for Schools - Classroom-ready resources written by leading history teachers 

CIA World Fact Book -  Information on the history, people and society, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

Discovery Channel - Videos and content from the Discovery Channel

Encyclopedia of Earth - Electronic reference about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society

Encyclopedia Mythica - Mythology. Folklore. Religion

Folger Digital Shakespeare Library - Full texts of Shakespeare’s plays, sonnets, and poems

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Resources - Resources about the Great Barrier Reef

International Encyclopedia of the First World War - Virtual reference work on the First World War

National Science Digital Library - Educational resources for teaching and learning, with current emphasis on STEM

NationMaster Country Profiles - International statistics database with a wide range of economic and demographic indicators

Open Textbook Library - Textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed

Pandora - Australia's Web Archive

Science Bob - Easy science experiments, videos and science fair ideas

Science Learning Hub - New Zealand science education resources

SciShow Psych - YouTube channel that explores the human mind

SciShow Space - YouTube channel about all things space

Smart history - History of Art

Teach Astronomy - Astronomy learning tool

TROVE - Explore collections from Australian libraries, universities, museums, galleries and archives.