Library Databases


Click here to see available databases: Open University Library Databases

Databases are more specific, and more complete, organised by:

  • subject
  • type, e.g. biographies, dictionaries, newspapers, ebooks, journal articles, videos etc.

Types of search:

Phrase searching:

“put search in quotation marks”

Field searching:

Search only one part of the record
e.g. abstract, author, title, keywords, etc.

(top tip: abstract searching a term gives you relevant results!)

Boolean searching:


Can be used in conjunction with phrase search, and field search:
e.g. “pet therapy” AND cats AND dogs (in field: Abstracts)
give articles with phrase “pet therapy” and that mention both cats and dogs in the abstract.


e.g. colo*r > color and colour
e.g. child* > child and children
e.g. exerci?e > exercise and exercize

(top tip: different databases use different symbols for wildcards and truncations)

N.b. Always check out the database ‘help’ section for more tips on how to search.