Should I use OneSearch or an individual database?


OneSearch is a general search tool that is able to search across a very large number of databases and journals at the same time, but it does not include all of the library’s subscribed databases.

There are many types of databases. One way to differentiate them is to look at the type of materials available in the database*.

  • Journal databases contain abstracts and/or full-text of scholarly articles and publications
  • News databases contain news articles
  • Image databases contain photos or scanned images
  • Audio-Visual databases contain audio-visual, content such as music and video
  • Citation databases contain data on citation counts and allow for citation analysis
  • Law/Legal databases contain legal or patent information
  • Library catalogue is a database that can tell us what is available from a particular library collection, e.g NTU Libraries
  • Institutional repositories contain works produced by the researchers and students from a particular institution, e.g. NTU

*Note: Some databases contain a mix of the different types of materials.

The following are some databases that are included under OneSearch; these are mainly journal databases:

  • Academic Search Premier
  • Communication & Mass Media Complete
  • Computer Source
  • EconLit with Full Text
  • ERIC
  • Global Health
  • Hospitality & Tourism Complete
  • Philosopher’s Index
  • PsycINFO

OneSearch also includes NTU’s Library Catalogue of books, e-books, audio-visual materials such as DVDs and streaming videos, print periodicals, as well as works from NTU’s Digital Repository (DR-NTU).



When to Use OneSearch?

You can use OneSearch if you know that you’re looking primarily at books, journal articles, or DVDs. So, if you need a few good books and journal articles, this is a recommended and easy-to-use search tool.


When to Use an Individual Database?

If you’re looking for other types of information sources such as news, images, audio-visual content, business reports, citation data or legal documents, you’d probably need to search direct within specific, specialized databases (some examples below).

  • Factiva
  • LexisNexis Academic
  • Newslink
  • PressReader
  • Acland’s Video Atlas of Human Anatomy
  • Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)
  • Online Animation Library
  • South Asia Archive
  • Journal Citation Reports
  • Scopus
  • Web of Science
Chinese language
  • China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI)
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine 中医药知识系统(专业版)
  • WiseSearch 慧科讯业
Business/Economic (reports/data)
  • Bloomberg
  • BMI Research
  • CEIC
  • Dealwatch
  • Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
  • Gartner Core Research
  • IMD World Competitiveness Online
  • MarketLine Advantage
  • Passport
  • Roubini Global Economics
  • Thomson One
  • Warc
  • HeinOnline
  • LawNet
  • Lexis
  • USPTO Patent Database
  • Westlaw


OneSearch is a useful starting point for research. As you get more familiar with the various types of databases and the contents available, and depending on your research needs at that point in time, you may choose to search directly within certain databases.

As always, if you think that you might need some assistance with your research, get in touch with a librarian.

About Law Loo Shien

I am with the Resources, Discovery and Access team at NTU Library. There was once I scored a D for an undergraduate module on Political Philosophy, but it was the best course I'd ever taken. It planted the seeds of intellectual growth, and gave me a framework to understand human nature.
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