What is a Library Research Database?

What is a Library Research Database?


[MUSIC PLAYING] You may already know that
most libraries subscribe to some online databases. Different databases have
different functions. Some databases provide access
to articles that will help you with research projects. Others are specialized and might
teach you how to repair a car, learn a new
language, or even how to trace your family history. Maybe your teacher has asked
you to use a library research database as part
of an assignment. But what is a library
research database? And how can it help
you with your research? This tutorial will
cover what you can expect to find in
library research databases. It will go over some of the
differences between what is available on the
Internet, and what is available through
library research databases. And it will discuss when
you should use them. Please note that for the
rest of this tutorial, we will use the term
library databases. For many people,
searching the Internet is the first stop for
conducting any sort of research. You can definitely find
a lot of useful stuff by searching Google,
but not everything is available on the Internet. Let’s take a look
at what you might expect to find on the Internet
versus what you might expect to find in a library database. Anyone can post whatever
they want online. Some things on the
Internet may have been reviewed by an editor,
but many things have not. Materials in library
databases have either been reviewed by
professional editors or have gone through
the peer review process, which means
they were reviewed by other experts in the field. This helps add credibility to
the information you’ll find. The Internet
contains information on almost any topic
in the whole world. So sometimes, it can be hard
to find exactly what you’re looking for. Library databases
are often tailored toward a specific
audience, or they deal with a specific
subject, and this can make searching easier. On the Internet, you can find
up-to-the-minute information. Since there’s often
no formal review process for posting
on the Internet, information can be
added as it happens. Because library databases
only add materials that have undergone the formal
review process, they do not contain
up-to-the-minute information. Current issues of
newspapers and magazines may take anywhere from a
few days to several months to be added to a database. Finally, while much
information on the Internet is free for anyone to
access, the information in library databases
requires a subscription. Generally, libraries pay for
these database subscriptions and provide access to
their users for free. Even though database materials
cannot be found by simply searching the Internet, you
can still access them online through your library’s website. This means that you
don’t necessarily have to be in the library to do
research with these databases. If you’re accessing databases
away from the library, you’ll usually need to log
in with your school username or library card number. So, when you look at
a library database, what exactly are you searching? Most databases provide
access to thousands of articles and images from
magazines, scholarly journals, newspapers, and reference
books, plus some audio and video content. When you’re searching for
articles in a library database, generally, you will find
two types of listings. The first type is
a citation listing. This provides you with
all of the information that you should need to go and
find the article that you’re looking for, but it does
not provide direct access to the full text of the article. These listings will provide you
with a full citation, including title and volume
information for the source where the article has come from. Often, you’ll also
see an abstract, or a summary that can
help you determine what the article is about. The other type is a
full-text listing, which provides direct access
to the full text of an article. It also includes citation
information and often an abstract or summary. Sometimes, the
text of the article will appear below the citation
information and the abstract. Other times, you’ll need to
look for another link that says full text, and click on
it to see the full article. Some library databases only
provide citation listings. Some always provide
full-text access. Many databases provide
a mix of the two. Some databases cover a
broad range of topics, while others are
much more specific. The database Student Resources
In Context, for example, covers all sorts of topics,
from literature to history, and medical sciences
to social issues. Health and Wellness
Resource Center is a specialty database
that focuses specifically on information about
health and medicine. Almost all databases
have a target audience, and this can dictate the reading
level and type of material that you might expect
to find in them. Student Resources In
Context, for example, is designed for high
school students. Health and Wellness Resource
Center, on the other hand, targets adults seeking
health information. So when should you use a
library database for research? You should look in
a library database if you’re looking for
articles and images from magazines, scholarly
journals, newspapers, or reference books, or for
audio and video content. If you’re doing any sort of
scholarly research or research for an assignment,
chances are you’ll need to use a library database. If you’re looking
for information on a specific topic,
a library database that covers that
topic can help you find what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something
that has been reviewed — either through the peer review
process or by a professional editor — you should use a
library database. For specific examples,
and for more information about this topic and the
entire research process, explore OSLIS. Thank you to the
Oregon CLIP project for allowing the OSLIS Committee
to adapt their tutorials. OSLIS — Learn to Research. Research to Learn.

Danny Hutson

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