Databases for Sport and Exercise Sciences

Databases are collections of useful information, with examples including maps, videos, sounds, case histories, references… However, for academic study, the databases you are most likely to use are databases of journal articles. Some of these contain the full text of journal articles, and others simply contain information about journal articles (often including an abstract/summary of the article). Most databases are constantly updated with new information, and are often a great way of keeping up-to-date and discovering the newest research for your subject area.

You will get best use out of the databases if you choose the words you use to search them with carefully. Work out what the most important aspects of your assignment or project are and think of different words that could be used to describe that concept - there are almost always at least two different words for any particular idea in the English language. Try entering these words in different combinations to see what comes up. If you're not sure how to use databases at all, or you find any particular database challenging, please feel free to contact me or to drop in to the Student Support Zone in the library.

Databases available from the University of Kent

To see a complete listing of databases and other useful electronic resources, go to the Kent e-resources A-Z page. Key electronic resources for the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences available through the University include:

General :

  • Academic Search Complete - covers all subjects the University teaches, though not in great depth. This is a useful starting point for most subjects and is quite easy to search. Lots of the journal articles listed on here are available to be downloaded in full, but not all of them.
  • Human Kinetics - access to a number of really useful journals for all of the School's courses (NB - not every journal from this site is available). It is not particularly easy to search, though.
  • International Bibliography of the Social Sciences - a useful resource for any assignments on social aspects of sport. It does not generally contain the full text of any journal articles, but you can click the "360 Link to Full Text" button to find out whether the University of Kent has access to any articles you discover here.

Sport and Exercise Management :

  • Business Source Complete and Emerald Insight are both useful for assignments on leadership, marketing and management within sport. Between them, they give access to many high-quality management journals. This includes a few titles which are specifically about sport and leisure management, but many of the other journals will include articles on relevant topics.

Sport Psychology :

  • PsycInfo is the key database for psychology and mental health topics.

Sports Science, Sports Therapy and Sport for Health :

  • CINAHL - a database covering the allied health professions which contains a lot of information relating to exercise rehabilitation, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health, biomechanics, massage and other relevant areas.
  • The Cochrane Library - a database of systematic reviews of evidence for health care interventions, which is useful for some topics in sports therapy and related areas.
  • ScienceDirect - a large collection of scientific journals, including medicine and health sciences. Contains a number of useful sports journals in downloadable format, and is particularly useful for therapy and physiology. [[If it doesn't work immediately, you need to Sign in (top right), then Other Institution login, then choose 'UK Access Management Federation' from the drop down list, then click University of Kent.]]


For research students, the University subscribes to some major bibliographic databases which search for references to an immense amount of scholarly literature. These are not full-text resources, but are extremely valuable for in-depth research at Masters level and above :

  • Scopus covers the sciences and social sciences in great depth and is a key tool for research. [[If it doesn't work immediately, you need to Click Login (top right), then Other Institution login, then choose 'UK Access Management Federation' from the drop down list, then click University of Kent.]]
  • Web of Science is an extremely powerful tool, which is particularly useful if you want to track down other papers which have cited some research you are interested in - you can follow the chain of which papers cite each other in order to see how research was used and interpreted after its initial publication.

Free on-line databases

  • CASE database - a great source for information about "studies that examine the drivers, impact and value of engagement in culture and sport". It does not contain the full text of the studies, but once you have identified something interesting, you can check to see whether the University has access to the journal.
  • CORE - COnnecting REpositories - a useful way to search the content of many university repositories, as well as Pubmed Central and other large collections of freely-accessible journal articles, conference proceedings and theses
  • Directory of Open Access Books - this is quite a new site, so the number of books on here is currently quite small. It is intended to be a central place to search for free academic e-books. It is international in scope, so not everything is in English, but there are some relevant titles available such as Sports law and policy in the European Union and various books which look at sport on a global scale.
  • eThOS - a service from the British Library which allows you to search for theses from British universities. You can often download the theses at no cost (as long as you register on the site), or make a request for a thesis to be digitised. There is sometimes a fee if you request a thesis that wasn't already available.
  • PEDro - Physiotherapy Evidence Database, which is likely to be of use and interest to Sports Therapy students
  • PubMed is the world's biggest medical database, and is well worth using for anything relating to sports medicine or sports therapy. It will sometimes contain the full text of the journal articles, but if not, you can check the details and see whether the University of Kent has access to the journal. Use web address to be connected to Kent journals via the Pubmed database.

Audiovisual databases

  • Box of Broadcasts - available through the Kent e-resources A-Z page (please note the access instructions), this is a service which allows you to view useful television programmes.
  • JISC MediaHub - also available through the Kent e-resources A-Z page, this is a collection of all sorts of images and videoclips which is well worth exploring. Useful items include news reports, photos from major sporting events and so on.
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