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Geography: Bibliographic databases

Library support for Geography

Introduction - what are bibliographic databases?

Bibliographic databases (often just referred to as 'databases')  allow you to search across a wide range of journals and this is the best way to find relevant academic information on your topic. The bibliographic databases relevant to Geography are listed below.

These databases contain references and abstracts and will link you to the full text of the article where QUB has a subscription to the e-journal. NB you will not get the full text for every article you find in a database, but you can apply for the article on Inter Library Loan if it is not available via QUB.

Constructing a search strategy

Before you start searching the databases, you will need to construct a search strategy: 

  • Break your search topic into key concepts
  • For each concept, think of keywords and synonyms
  • Connect similar keywords using the OR command
  • Combine different concepts using the AND command 
  • Use brackets to group OR terms together

eg (teenager OR adolescent OR adolescence) AND (autism OR autistic spectrum disorder OR asperger's syndrome OR pervasive developmental disorder)

For a more detailed description of search techniques, please see separate page on Designing a search strategy.

Key bibliographic databases relevant to Geography

The key bibliographic databases relevant to Geography are listed below. These are the best databases to start with when you are doing your literature search. Start with Web of Science or Scopus as they are the biggest databases and cover all subject areas. If you need any help, please contact me at

Databases relevant to other subjects

If your area of interest overlaps with other subject areas, you can look at the other Subject Guides to find more relevant Databases eg History: Key DatabasesSociology, Social Policy and Social Work: Key Databases or Key Databases: Anthropology 

Databases A-Z

The full range of databases available at QUB can be found in the Databases A-Z list, but note that this list will contain journal and e-book databases as well as bibliographic databases; bibliographic databases such as the ones listed above are the best way to conduct a comprehensive literature review.

Top Tip - Reference lists and Citation searching

If you find a relevant article, an easy way to find other articles on the same topic is to look at the Reference list/Bibliography. Most databases also have a Citation search feature which means you can link to other articles that have referred to your original paper. 

Keeping up to date

You can set up email alerts within bibliographic databases to find out what new articles are being published in your area of interest; check out the Help screens in each database for instructions of how to do this.