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Education: research guide: Articles & databases

Literature searching workshop - videos

You may have attended a library workshop on searching databases for journal articles - don't worry if you've now forgotten everything you learned!  Take a look at our videos which cover the class's contents to refresh your memory.

Already know which article you want?

If you already have the reference for an article, search for the title and one or two of the author surnames in SOLO.

This is useful to check a partial reference, or find an article you know exists.

If the article you want does not appear email us for help.

Explore other disciplines

Common Search Tricks

  • check your spelling, and consider British American variations
  • consider searching for your search terms just in abstracts
  • use double quotation marks to indicate an "exact phrase"
  • try truncating words, e.g. child* will find child, children, childhood etc.
  • a wildcard can be useful, e.g. behavio?r ; wom?n
  • provide alternative search terms with OR between them ; join concepts into a more focused search using AND ; exclude unwanted results using NOT

For example:

cyberbull* OR "cyber bull*" OR "cyber vicitimi?ation"


boy* OR m?n or male*

NOT primary OR elementary OR junior OR infant

Ovid search tips

Some databases e.g. PsycINFO are provided by Ovid. Ovid is a very sophisticated search interface, which can make it rather daunting to use.

Use the Advanced Search or the Multi-Field Search if you want to use combination words like AND, OR, or truncation (*). The Basic Search is just for natural-langage queries, like "What is the effect of low thyroid function on heart failure" and will ignore the syntax of your search.

It helps to split your search into smaller searches in the Multi-Field Search and then combine them afterwards - this is also useful for highlighting where the problem search terms might be. 

Note that if you search for more than one word Ovid defaults to exact phrase searching between any operators, e.g. OR, ADJ# so you do not need to use "double quotation marks".

ProQuest search tips

If a ProQuest database is unable to complete your search, try reducing the amount of truncated terms within quotation marks as this has an impact on search performance.

Exporting results

Setting up a personal account in ProQuest 'MyResearch' can make it easier for you to export the results into your reference manager. However, if you see this error message "Export results is disabled due to content restrictions. Your selection includes one or more articles that can't be included in your request." then try exporting your results page by page (you can show more 'Items per page').

Key databases for finding articles on your topic (education)

Key databases for finding articles on your topic (applied linguistics)

Key databases for finding articles on your topic (medical education))

Consider seeking advice from your outreach librarian as well as the Education Library team.

Broader databases for finding literature on your topic

Searching Chinese journals for articles in English

National Social Sciences Database

The Bodleian Libraries has institutional access to the Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS) National Social Sciences Database . The University of Oxford readers can access the database without having to register for individual accounts. The CASS database includes over 2000 titles of core academic journals in social science (and humanities) published in China, including the entire volumes of journals such as文物 Wen wu), 考古 (Kao gu), and 历史研究 (Historical Research).


Chinese Journals with articles in English

The main sources of Chinese journals with relevant articles in English are:

China Academic Journals Full-text Database

Use the Advanced search to add all your concepts, searching in Title, Keyword and Abstract. "Exact phrases" can be searched for using double quotation marks. To add alternative terms put the + between them, rather than OR. Make use of the search filters at the side of your results, e.g. Humanity & Social  and/or Disciplines.

All results should be available to download as PDFs directly from this database.

Airiti Library

This is a collection of over 700 Taiwan journals. The advanced search does not behave well when searching in English, so it is better to use the 'more options' drop down in the simple search bar, and when you have the results, you can filter them by language using the left-hand options.

Note: Although this database also includes ebooks and theses, our subscription is just for journal articles - you may be able to find other kinds of results using SOLO or other databases, for example the Chinese Doctoral Dissertations Full-text Database, or the National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.

Hong Kong Journals Online

This is a small collection of Hong Kong journals in Chinese and English, including Education Journal and Journal of Basic EducationThere is only a very basic search, but all results should be available to download as PDFs directly from this database.

If you are looking for sources of information other than journal articles, or statistical data, it is worth looking at the Chinese Studies LibGuide, making an appointment with a specialist from the China Centra Library, or trying other databases from Databases A-Z.

Browse online journals

Research methods

Finding conference papers and proceedings

  • Education databases, such as ERIC and the British Education Index, also include some conference papers.

  • Web of Science includes conference proceedings for social sciences & humanities from 1990 to present

Databases which offer citation tracking

Using Google Scholar to search Oxford's journal subscriptions

Using Google Scholar to search Oxford's ejournals

If you are used to using Google Scholar, you can make it work harder for you by adding a Find it @ Oxford button - this will search SOLO for our subscriptions and give you direct access to paywalled journal articles.

You can also read a transcript of the video or follow instructions in Powerpoint.

Google Scholar - search tips

If you are on a library computer or using the University's VPN you will notice that some results show a FindIt@Oxford link on the right where you also often see links to open access versions of the paper.

This is because the Bodleian Libraries have shared information about our subscriptions with Google in order to make your access easier. To ensure you see the FindIt@Oxford links wherever you are, sign in to Google and set up the University of Oxford in your Library Links within Settings.