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Research and Learning skills: Databases - How to search

Why can't I just Google? Pros and Cons


  • Finding information is quick and easy as information can be updated almost instantly.

  • Easy access to sources such as people, places, history images and video.


  • Google is a search engine, therefore it has so much information, it can be hard to identify relevant sources

  • Anyone can upload material online so it is difficult to detect if the information is out of date, biased or inaccurate.

Therefore, for scholarly research you need to find accurate information from a variety of sources (subscribed databases) and not relying on search engines ie. Google, Bing... etc.

What is a database and why do I need to use databases?

What is a database?

  • a structured collection of information, full text or abstract.
  • expensive, accessible through libraries, otherwise pay per article.
  • can be journal or newspaper articles, reports, increasingly including other forms of media, images, videos etc.
  • from distinguished publishers with articles reviewed by experts in their field.

Why do I need to use databases?

  • It may be easier to find a collection of articles directly relevant to your assignment by searching the right database rather than surfing the Internet.
  • Often a ‘Google’ article will take you only to an abstract only and you will not be able to access the article in its entirety. Or the source that you are led to will require a subscription or a fee.
  • Library databases have been purchased and analysed to compliment the courses at William Angliss Institute.
  • Library databases are specific to subjects that are being facilitated. You may need references within your reference list other than the Internet.


How do I use a database?

  • Analyse your assignment question
  • Pick out key words/phrases
  • Think of similar or alternative words/phrases
  • Try various combinations of these key search terms in the database search boxes
  • Utilise the various database filters to sift through your results:
    • such as the publication date field
  • Utilise the different features of a database to assist your searching:
    • such as a thesaurus index
    • such as the publication titles index

List alternative keywords for each concept. These additional terms could be more specific or more general alternatives.

  • Ethnic Tourism 
  • Special Events 
  • Culture & Tourism (Broader term) 
  • Parades (narrower term)
  • Indigenous tourism (Narrower term) 
  • Entertainment events (related term)
  • Ethnic festivals (related term) 
  • Ethnic markets (related term)
  • Event tourism (related term)

Library Databases

   is a suite of databases to support WAI courses which include:

Academic Search Premier, Art & Architecture Complete, Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre, Business Source Premier, CINAHL Plus with Full text, Computers & Applied Sciences Complete, Education Research Complete, Environment Complete, ERIC (The Education Resource Information Center), Food Science Source, GreenFILE, Hospitality and Tourism Complete, Library, Information Science & Technology, Regional Business Review, Research Starters – Business and Education, Teacher Reference Center and Vocational Studies Complete.


Tourism and Hospitality collection covers topics such as hospitality trends, tourism development and behaviour, service improvement and business performance, talent management, destination culture and destination marketing and sustainability. 

The collection include:


  • International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality
  • Management
  • International Journal of Culture, Tourism and
  • Hospitality Research

Book Series - (2012 only)

  • Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research
  • Advances in Hospitality and Leisure

An online database offering a wealth of powerful and comprehensive information on every industry, top 2000 companies and the business environment.

  • Industry market research - Over 500 comprehensive industry research reports. Each report consists of 30 to 40 pages of key statistics and analysis on market characteristics, operating conditions, current and historical performance, major industry participants and more.

  • Global Industry Reports - The 75 Global Industry Reports offer the same clear and up-to-date forecasts as our country- based industry reports, but instead focus on industry performance in key regions like Europe, Asia, the Middle East and more.

  • Specialised Industry Reports for both Australia and the US - Reports covering emerging, niche or smaller industries, following the same format as the above industry reports.

  • Industry Risk Ratings - IBISWorld’s 500 Industry Risk Ratings analyse to determine how much risk an industry, at the class level, will face over the next 18 months by assessing the operating conditions; industry structure, revenue outlook and key drivers. The risk rating is a numerical score supported by a high level of analysis.

  • Australian Business Environment Profiles - Every industry faces a set of drivers outside its control that have a material effect on industry performance. The Business Environment Profiles provide insight into these key drivers, which include interest rates, commodity prices, interest rates, weather conditions, consumer attitudes, demographics and more.

  • Company Research - Company Reports analyse the 2000 largest Australian and New Zealand companies; listed & non-listed public, private, foreign owned, trusts & government businesses. Each profile contains directors, key personnel, balance sheet and P&L data, ownership structure as well as the auditors, bankers and solicitors.

  • Australian Company Wizard and Company Lists - Download and analyse the top companies in predefined categories, including revenue, industry sector and shareholders.

  • UK Brexit Impact Statements - These statements provide an overview of the potential impact of the UK’s referendum to exit the European Union.

       is the premier source of core research from  Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region's leading publishers and associations.

Databases are grouped in collections

  • APAFT (formerly known as Australian Public Affairs Full Text) is a collection of around 500 journals covering Australia’s political, economic and social affairs.
  • Business Collection provides full text access to content from a range of resources that covers a wide breadth of business fields.
  • Humanities & Social Sciences Collection provides full text access to content from a broad subject coverage. In particular, Aboriginal and indigenous studies, arts, history, law, literary studies, media, political science and sociology.

covers topics such as cultural geography, foods, hospitality trends, tourism development, planning and marketing, destination culture and destination marketing and sustainability.


ABI/INFORM Global collection enables you to explore and understand business research topics. You can search nearly 3000 worldwide business periodicals for in-depth coverage of business and economic conditions, management   techniques, theory, and practice of business, advertising, marketing, economics, human resources, finance, taxation, computers, and more. Also includes fast access to information on 60,000 + companies with business and executive profiles. Now includes The Wall Street Journal.

Contact Us

William Angliss Institute Library (LRC), Building C | Ground Floor T | 9606 2237 | E |