Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Very Large Bibliographic Databases ...

Web of Science [WOS] at 38 million records is probably the largest bibliographic database in the world. The three databases that comprise WOS are the Arts and Humanities Citation Index [AHCI], the Social Science Citation Index [SSCI] and the Science Citation Index [SCI]. The coverage is broad but also deep. Back files go back decades, 1975 to present for AHCI, 1956 to present for SSCI and 1945 to present for SCI. Requires and ATHENS User Name and Password.

The University library has also implemented a meta search engine called mySearch which enables you to search a number of databases concurrently. You can do this by selecting a subject area, where the databases to search are chosen for you, or from an alpha list, selecting the databases you want to search. Access to mySearch is on the Library Tab of myBU. To get the functions described here use the Advanced Search option.

You might also consider using something like Google Scholar. It has disadvantages, however. It searches non peer reviewed material, there is no effective subject search and some publishers do not open their databases to Google Scholar. For those that do the Library may not have access to their material.

You could also consider searching institutional repositories using tools like OAIster which search 934 repositories.

For books the best source is COPAC the combined catalogue of National Libraries (British Library) and the Russell Group libraries.

Of course your Subject Librarian will be able to advise on the many specialist subject databases aviable to you from the Library website.

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