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Philosophy: Databases

For students and researchers studying philosophy at the University of Oxford


Bibliographic databases are a powerful tool for finding scholarly literature in your subject area. This includes but is not limited to journal articles, conference proceedings and books. They are very useful to consult when carrying out your own research because:

  • they provide powerful search functionality
  • have citation tools
  • have thesauri
  • their content is selected by experts in your subject

Bibliographic databases are useful when you want to start exploring beyond your reading list or are researching a new topic.

On this page you will find recommended bibliographic databases and guidance on how to search for and access databases.

Bibliographic databases

Oxford subscribes to lots of databases you can use for free. You will likely find you need to use several databases for a thorough search of your subject area. The tabs at the top of this section take you to key bibliographic databases for philosophy and a link to browse all databases in philosophy.

You can also search for specific databases via SOLO.

Help with bibliographic databases

For those seeking advice on accessing bibliographic databases, we recommend the following guides:

Below are key bibliographic databases applicable to those studying philosophy at Oxford.


Depending on the database provider, you may need to use your Oxford Single Sign On to access materials.


Why not watch a video form the Take a Tour pages to see Oxford Bibliographies in action or take a look at our PDF below to find out how to use this resource.


Have a go at using Past Masters by trying our sample exercises:


If you are new to Philosopher's Index, why not try out our hand's on exercise below:

Philosopher's Index is provided by EBSCOHost. Find out how to build advanced searches on EBSCOHost databases at the link below:


PhilPapers is a community maintained index and bibliography for philosophy. If you're new to PhilPapers why not take a tour on their homepage or visit their FAQs section here:

If you want to practice using PhilPapers, this short exercise will take you through some of the basic features.


To browse a list of bibliographic databases for philosophy, follow the link below which takes you through to Databases A-Z.


Terms you may encounter in your research

Bibliographic database:
A searchable platform that contains descriptive records of articles, books, conference proceedings, audio-visual material, maps, newspapers, statistics and more.

Abstracting service:
Used to refer to a bibliographic database, the service provides abstracts of publications.

Indexing service:
Used to refer to a bibliographic database, the service provides descriptors to help organise and navigate publications.

This means you can read the item in full from beginning to end, not just the abstract or summary.

Recommend a database

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have a database you are looking for, you can make a recommendation by completing the form below (Oxford Single-Sign On required).