What is a database?
A database is a searchable collection of citations and/or full text materials that originally appeared in journals, magazines, or newspapers. Databases are one of the tools researchers use to find information. Here are some examples:
- The PsycInfo database contains journal articles, book chapters, book reviews and editorials that are published in behavioral and social science literature.
- Experts at the American Psychological Association (APA) determine what is searchable in the database. The database is a discrete collection, so it will different information than a Google search.
- The APA experts help users find information in the database by organizing the information and by assigning keywords to each citation (indexing). For example, a qualitative study about media portrayal of Olympic athletes with children may be assigned indexing terms like: mass media, sports, sport psychology, athletes, and mothers. These words help users find the article and others on the same subject.
How is a database different from the Hewes Library catalog or the I-Share catalog?
A catalog indexes books, DVDs, AV materials, music scores, and more so you can locate a record and then locate the item. Catalogs do not have full text articles.
Why do some of the library databases look different from eachother?
Database interfaces (the front-end software) DO look differently depending on the company that produces it.
How do I get help with databases?
Most databases have "help" buttons that will provide search assistance. When in doubt, #JustAsk a librarian for assistance!