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Philosophy: Databases

What is a database?

Databases are collections of references to journal articles, chapters in books, book reviews, conference proceesdings, reports and in some cases, theses and dissertations.
In many cases databases include the full text of journal articles. Access to these databases is paid for by the university.

In some cases only the abstract is available. In this case, you will need to search the library icatalogue to see if the journal is available in print.
If the library does not subscribe to the journal you will need to get the article from another institution by using the Inter Library Loan facility.
Databases A-Z provides links to all of UKZN's subscription databases.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is not a database. However, it provides a search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources including theses, books, abstracts and articles.

Google Scholar does not possess rights to make full text available in many instances. Where full text is available via UKZN databases, a UKZN eText clickable link will be provided.

Google Scholar Search

Open access journal databases

Some examples:

Directory of Open Access Journals

DOAJ : Directory of Open Acess Journals

The DOAJ aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content. In short, the DOAJ aims to be THE one stop shop for users of open access journals.

The collection currently comprises 46 South African journals, which may be searched individually, and provides immediate access to the PDF versions of 6 000+ full-text articles.

Taylor & Francis and Routledge currently publish a number of pure open access journals. All of the articles in these journals are published open access. The articles in these journals receive both rigorous peer-review and expedited online publication.

Some online databases

Online databases are most useful for finding articles when you do not know in which journals articles are published.

Some databases are multidisciplinary and cover a wide range of subjects e.g. Academic Search Complete, while others are subject specific, covering a particular subject or discipline e.g. Philosopher's Index. Other databases are limited to particular geographic areas, e.g Sabinet  covers Africa, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa.

Searching a single database

  • From the 'Electronic Resources' tab on the Library's website choose 'Databases A-Z' (if you know the name of the database) and click on the name of the desired database; or click on 'Databases for subject' fo a list of possible databases for a subject area. (See a list of selected databases below).
  • Type keywords into the search box and scan results. The results will indicate in which journals articles appear and whether full text is availalble.
  • Where full text is not available, click on the 'SFX' icon to see if other Library databases supply the article full text.

A selection of Philosophy databases

The following are a selection of electronic databases that are helpful for Philosophy:

Cambridge Journals database indexes all journals published by Cambridge University Press in many disciplines.

EBSCOhost provides access to many databases including the following listed below. Choose the database from EbscoHost Web page. You can search within a single database or select more than one database to search in one time:
       *Academic Search Complete
      *Ebsco Electronic Journals Service (EJS)
       *MLA International Bibliography
JSTOR is a database of back issues of core journals. All issues of each journal are included in full-text except for the most recent 2 to 5 years.
Project MUSE offers full-text online access to a comprehensive selection of humanities and social science journals.
ProQuest is an international, multidisciplinary database. Search the following indexes:
     *International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS)
     *Proquest Dissertations & Theses
     *Proquest Research Library: The Arts

Sabinet is an interdisciplinary database focusing mostly on South Africa but does include some African information. Search the following indexes:
      *SA ePublications (South Africa & African electronic journals)
      *Index to SA Periodicals (ISAP - no full-text)
      *SA Media
Sage Journals provides access to full-text articles in journals published by Sage.
ScienceDirect offers indexes and full text articles published in Elsevier and other journals.
Springer Link is a huge multidisciplinary database with full-text articles published in many of the journals to which the Library subscribes.

SwetsWise is a multidisciplinary database covering authoritative titles from core literature.

Taylor & Francis Online is the platform that supports the Library in its mission and puts research first.

 Wiley Online Library hosts a broad multidisciplinary collection of online resources published by Wiley-Blackwell.

How do I access databases from off campus?

Use the Off-campus Access link if you are not on campus.

  • You will need a valid LAN username and password to access databases from off-campus.  This refers to the username and password you use to access the computers on campus.
  • For more information on accessing UKZN library e-resources from off-campus, consult our FAQ's

Searching Multiple databases

Click on the hyperlinks below  to search many databases at one time.

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and

sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities

and other web sites. Google Scholar links up with the database subscriptions of the university to enable you to gain full-text access if it is available.

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