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Databases for Language and Communication

Use the databases below to:

  • find references to journal articles
  • keep up to date with the latest publications in your subject

Some databases require your Cardiff University network username and password for off-campus access. These databases are available for all staff and students of Cardiff University but because of licensing restrictions they are not available to external members and visitors.

You can also access databases through Electronic Resources - MetaLib

Database guides are available to help you.

Key databases:

Communication Abstracts 

Communication Abstracts
Provides full bibliographic details and brief descriptive summaries of recent books and articles published in areas such as:

  • mass communication
  • interpersonal communication
  • new communication technologies


Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts

Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts
Indexes articles, books and book reviews on all aspects of language study and on related disciplines such as anthropology, psychology and stylistics. Coverage is from 1973 onwards.


Oxford English Dictionary

Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Online provides authoritative definitions of over 500,000 words. It traces the usage of words from their first recorded occurrence to the modern period through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international language sources and uses the International Phonetic Alphabet to show pronunciation.


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Supplementary databases: 

Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature

ABELL indexes a wide range of publications (monographs, journal articles, book reviews, collections of essays, critical editions of literary works and many doctoral dissertations) on English literature from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. It covers British, American and Commonwealth writing, and includes material in languages other than English. The index covers the period since 1920, with a few items from the preceding 30 years.

ABELL is part of the database Literature Online (LION) and the records link directly to the full text articles of online journals of LION and JSTOR.

Within Literature Online, ABELL can be searched either as a single database or in conjunction with the MLA International Bibliography (MLAIB).




Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA) provides references and summaries of articles covering:

  • social services
  • social work
  • sociology
  • education
  • health

It is updated daily and coverage is from 1987. ASSIA currently contains over 375,000 records from over 500 journals published in 16 different countries, including the UK and US.



MLA International Bibliography

MLA International Bibliography
The Modern Language Association International Bibliography (MLAIB) indexes scholarly publications on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore in over 4,000 journals and series as well as in monographs, multi-author works and dissertations. MLAIB dates back to 1925.




Contains citations and summaries of journal articles, books, book chapters, technical reports and American dissertations. Areas covered include psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines, including education, psychiatry and medicine.

References to articles are drawn from over 1,300 journal titles from more than 50 countries and date back to 1887. References and summaries of English language books and chapters are included from 1887 to the present. 



Sociological Abstracts

Sociological Abstracts
Provides access to world-wide literature in sociology and related disciplines from 1963 onwards. Abstracts of articles from over 2000 journals are included along with details of dissertations, book reviews and sociological books. Updated daily.