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Finding Information Starter Guide: The basics: finding books, journals and databases

Very basic beginner overview of our information resources and how best to find books, journals and use our databases. Aimed at new students.

Finding Books in OneSearch

Find a Book in OneSearch

Use OneSearch to find information from many sources.

Key in your search terms: authors, titles, subject words or phrases - be as specific as you can.

Here are some examples:

  • James Joyce
  • Rural Ethiopia
  • Curtin Kelly
  • Stevens Harmonium
  • After the celtic tiger

Use the filters on the left side of OneSearch to narrow your results to books by first selecting books/ebooks from the Content Type section and then selecting library catalogue or Full text online depending on whether you want print books or ebooks. 

Getting Started with Journals

Use OneSearch to search for journals.

  • Search for the name of a journal e.g. "Harvard Law Review" and use inverted commas round it.
  • In the left "Refine Your Search" column select Journal/eJournal under Content Type.
  • Those that are online are marked eJournal Full Text Online - click to access.
  • Those that are print are marked Journal and will provide information including location and shelf mark so that you can find them on the shelf or, if marked as being in Store, place an order for them.


Print journals are arranged on the shelves in shelfmark order (alphabetically in Richview Library). 

Within each shelfmark, they are arranged alphabetically by title. For example:

Law journals are shelved at J340 (J for Journal, 340 for Law)

The Harvard Law Review is shelved at J340/HAR.

Generally, print journals are for reference only: they can be consulted or photocopied in the Library.

There are just a few titles that you can borrow. They are marked in the catalogue as Lending Journals.

Your reading list might contain an e-journal article like the one below:

Armstrong, K.A., 1998 ‘Legal Integration: Theorizing the Legal Dimension of European Integration’ Journal of Common Market Studies , 36(2) pp 155-175

This is what you need to know about this reference or citation:


Armstrong, K.A. author of article
1998 year of publication

‘Legal Integration: Theorizing the Legal Dimension of European Integration’

title of article
Journal of Common Market Studies title of journal
36(2) volume number and issue number of the journal
pp 155-175 page number: this is applied whether the article is in print or online


Use OneSearch to search for the title of your journal article.

  • Search for the title of the article e.g. "Legal Integration: Theorizing the Legal Dimension of European Integration" and use inverted commas round it.
  • If we can provide a direct link to the online article you will get a result marked Journal Article. Click to access the online text.
  • If your article title does not come up, or the click through fails to work properly, then search for the name of the whole Journal instead e.g. "Journal of common market studies", using inverted commas round it.
  • If the journal is available online, you will then need to click to access the whole journal and navigate through to the year, volume and issue that you will have in your reference.
  • For journals that are available in print only, you will need to find the print journal on the shelf, and then locate the right year and volume and within a volume the issue number in which your article is located: you should have all this information in your reference. In the example above you would look for the 1998 year, volume 36 and within that look for the content for issue 2.

If you would like to explore our eJournal collection, to see if we have a particular title or to choose a subject and see the range of titles we have available then you can use our filtered eJournal browse option to do this.

New students may not have encountered journals before. Ask Library staff at service points if you need help with understanding and finding journal titles or individual journal articles in print or online. You may also want to look at:


Journal abbreviations


Databases organise, store and retrieve large amounts of data or information. Our range includes databases containing lists of references to academic /scholarly materials, full text online collections, and collections of other formats, such as maps and images.
Databases can be very helpful with providing relevant and up to date material, to help you with your research or studies. They provide a range of pre-selected material that is authoritative, reliable and scholarly.

This differentiates them from general search engines such as Google and for more effective results you should try them instead of such search engines.

UCD Library subscribes to a wide range of these databases; some cover many subjects and others are specialised.

Database content may include: e-Journal articles, e-Books, Magazine articles, Newspaper articles, Reference material, Case studies, Reports, Conference papers, Theses, Standards, Images, Maps.

  • Use our databases interface to search for databases

  • If you know the title that you want to use then key this into the top search box, and select the highlighted database title or in the full record displayed click on the Resource Home hot link to access and use the database.

  • To see long lists of which databases we have for your subject area select one of the subjects offered, and then from the next listing select a more specific subject area and you will receive a list of databases that you can use.

To see a much briefer pre-selected set of Key databases for your subject, select a Library subject guide and move to the Journal Articles and Databases page: a concise list of database recommendations is then presented to you.

Databases are available via our OneSearch service.