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This section focuses on searching database repositories.

Most databases provide advanced search features, however there are differences in how each database site implements search functionality. At the OERu, we focus on repositories that provide access to OER and open access resources so that you do not need to incur cost in sourcing online resources.


Mini challenge summary

Summary: Database search
30 – 45 minutes

Start here

web resources

Stimulus resources

  1. Top ten database search tips published by Berkley City College Library.
  2. Searching in databases published by the University of Queensland Library.
  3. Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) – see also FAQs
  4. BASE Advanced Search

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To identify and share two open resources using database search techniques in support of your research topic.


  1. Using your keywords and synonyms generated for your research question, search for journal articles using the DOAJ search engine and/or the BASE Advanced Search.
  2. As appropriate, adapt your search by narrowing or expanding. Remember to be flexible, if one term doesn’t work, try different one’s.
  3. Select a minimum of two resources, more if you like to save time later in the course. You can use to keep a record of the additional url links you find for later use. (There is an option for “Private” links for those you are not ready to share publicly, for example until you have had time to complete the resource description.)
  4. Based on the resources you find, think about whether you need to modify your research question.


web resources

Resource bank activity

To find, summarise and share two open resources in support of your research project.

  1. Select your two best resources, log in to and click on “Add” link.
    • Complete the form adding the link, a short description and the recommended tags below for each resource. Be sure to mark your resource “Public”.
  2. If you have any questions, remember you can post these in the general course forum. If you know the answer to any questions, please help your fellow learners by posting advice and suggestions.

The resource bank is hosted at The system uses tags to search for related resources. Log in and vote for resources you find useful. Please use the following tags for this activity:
Required tags: : lida101, lida101a3-2
Suggested tags: : Use appropriate keywords (lowercase preferred) (or other descriptive tag(s))
Quicklink: : lida101

How did progress with this activity? Feel free to share thoughts, tips and experiences by posting a comment on WENotes. For example:

  • Finding resources for my topic was …
  • I found …. helpful.
  • Database search tip: When …

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Note: Your comment will be displayed in the course feed.