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Early Childhood Education and Care: Databases

For students of Early Childhood Education and Care

What are Databases?

Library databases are searchable collections of information. They contain articles from quality journals, magazines, and newspapers and other academic information resources.

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ATU subscribes to several databases, and your choice will depend entirely on your information needs. This LibGuide focuses on those databases with good content in the area of Early Childhood Education and Care.

The Library's discovery system and default search, SEARCH + FIND, will include much material from our subscribed databases, so searching here is always a good place to start. However SEARCH + FIND does not cover every single database, so it is important to have a look at each database individually and to become familiar with how to search them.  List of databases.

Searching Databases

Have a look at the LibGuide on Databases or the Advanced Database Searching tutorial on our Library YouTube channel.

Searching databses is similar to searching SEARCH + FIND, or the library catalogue. Certain databases may offer advanced features such as browsing a subject index or thesaurus, or compiling multiple search strategies; while others such as the Irish Times will have a single search box.

Almost all databases have a link to a help page, and once you search one resource you'll see similarities between them all.

Once you do a search you'll get a list of results and it is usually very easy to narrow your results by date, content type (e.g. full text article, newspaper article etc.) subject area, publisher, and even by journal title and author.

It is important when searching databases that you are as specific as possible with your search terms. Broad or generic terms will yield too many results and may lead to confusion. You must choose the most effective keywords for your research topic to have successful results. 

Please note that keying in your assignment or essay title into the search box will not bring up the results you require. You probably want to find articles or news stories where you will broaden your knowledge of the subject matter and possibly lead to further successful database search sessions. This is how new knowledge builds on old and is a primal part of the research process.

Library Database Trials

During the academic year the library provides free trials of databases. You will find details about them here in the Free Trials LibGuide

They may be new or offering their content on a time limited basis. Also check library our Facebook, Blog or Twitter accounts for information on database trials as they come up. You might just find exactly what you need.


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