When working on a specialist research topic or literature review, you may want to widen your search beyond the journals in the University of Huddersfield Library's collection.
You can do this using Summon, or through specialist electronic journal databases. This page introduces how to do this. More information can be found on your Library Subject Guide.
Before you begin, it is helpful to understand the difference between full-text and indexed articles
Like Summon, electronic databases allow you to search for journal articles. However, these specialist resources often focus on a particular subject area or discipline (e.g. ScienceDirect). They also allow you to perform more complex and precise searches, and set up email alerts to notify you of new articles on a topic. The way information is described by keywords and 'subject headings' is standardised throughout, which can make it easier to find related information on a topic.
Databases also allow you to discover information which is not available through Summon, including a wider range of articles, conference papers, reports and other useful documents. This is important when conducting a systematic literature review, or working on a highly specialised research topic. Some articles on databases will not be available to read in full-text, but if essential, you can request an article as an inter-library loan.
Each database has a slightly different interface. You can usually search by different criteria, including keyword, words in the article title, or author. You can also use Boolean operators (e.g. AND/OR/NOT) to link keywords and build more complex searches. You can filter the results of your search by specific criteria, for example to include only articles within a specific date range, from peer-reviewed journals, or from a particular country.
Your Library Subject Guide contains more information and videos explaining how to use specific databases.
Below is one example of how search results might be displayed in an electronic database (this example is a database called Scopus).
By default, Summon only searches for full text journal articles to which the Library subscribes.
However, you can instruct Summon to widen the search beyond these. Select the box in the filter pane labelled Add results beyond your library's collection to instruct Summon to include items not currently available in full-text in the Library collection.
Note that if you use this feature, you may not be able to read the full text of all the articles listed immediately. If you would like to access an article which is not available in the Library's collection, but that is essential to your work, you can request it as an inter-library loan.
If you find an article through an electronic database or Summon which is not available in full text, and it is essential to your work, you can request that we order it for you as an inter-library loan. There is usually no charge for this service, but there is a waiting time, as the article must be sourced from an external supplier.
Most electronic databases have their own help pages with how-to instructions and videos. Look for a Help or question mark ? icon whilst logged in.
For more help with journals, ask your librarians by emailing