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Choosing and Using Library Databases

COVID-19: Library Information, Resources, & Print Access


As part of UCLA's transition to remote instruction, and the Library's necessary decision to close all Library locations, access to print resources and special collections is not available. Please take advantage of electronic resources such as ebooks and article databases. The UCLA community can connect to these online resources off-campus via the VPN or proxy server. Interlibrary loan is still available for electronic journal articles; however, ebooks cannot be borrowed on interlibrary loan. You can also temporarily access digitized print books via HathiTrust, although you cannot download or print these books--only do screenshots.

The library is also extending access to our print collection beyond what's available in HathiTrust through the Pilot Emergency Temporary Digititzation on Request Service (PETDOR). Please review the PETDOR FAQ for guidance on using this service. 

For help with any of our resources, please schedule an appointment with a librarian (audio/video Zoom appointments available), contact your subject librarian directly, or use our 24/7 chat service.    


Introduction to Library Databases

A-Z Database ListThe UCLA Library subscribes to about a thousand online databases! This guide is designed to help you...

So What Is a Database?

PyscINFO logo

ISI Web of Science logo

Academic Search Complete logo

Business Source Complete logo

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In Library terminology, a "database" is pretty much any online source of information which has a search engine. Some common types include:

  • Library Catalogs index all of the books and journals owned or subscribed to by a particular institution. (Union catalogs combine the holdings of multiple institutions.) Catalogs typically only describe full books and journals, not individual chapters or articles. Because of this limitation, we also subscribe to...
  • Article Indexes index individual articles within specific academic fields. The journals and books indexed by these databases may or may not be online or even available at UCLA.
  • Online Collections of e-journals and/or e-books, either grouped by the publisher or collected and re-sold in subject-themed packages by "content aggregators."
  • Any of the above may also include or be focused entirely on...
    • specialized content types like reference sources, primary sources, newspapers, dissertations, government documents, technical reports, or standards.
    • non-text materials like statistical data, maps, images, music, or videos.
  • Citation Indexes track who cited specific articles and books.
  • Electronic Discovery Systems attempt (with varying success) to combine multiple databases into a single search engine.

It's also important to note that many of our database licenses are selective: we often subscribe to only a portion of the content available on a given site. Just as we don't purchase copies of every book and journal in print, we don't subscribe to every e-book or online jourrnal available!

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ATLA Religion Database logo

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Access to Online Resources

The Library's online subscription resources can always be accessed from computers and wireless networks on campus. However, off-campus access is restricted to current UCLA, students, faculty, and staff who have set up their computer using one of the following methods.