Just what is your instructor or the librarian referring to when they tell you to use a database for your research? Knowing what composes a database might take some of the mystery out of the research process.
WHAT’S A DATABASE ?
LSUS Noel Library
WHAT IS A DATABASE ?
Ever wonder what your instructor means
exactly when they are referring you to “one of
the library’s databases ?”
Take a minute, for an explanation of what the
library’s databases can mean to you in
researching a topic for a class assignment.
A DATABASE IS…
Basically, it’s a collection of information.
TO NAME A FEW:
A dictionary (like the online Oxford English
Dictionary that we just looked in.)
This library’s online catalog
Search engines (Google)
IN THE LIBRARY, MOST DATABASES ARE,
Searchable collections of journal articles.
As in the EBSCO site: Academic Search Complete,
Education Resource Complete, MLA Int. Bibliography,
Noel Library currently offers about 100 different
Majority of these provided by collaborative funding through
the LOUIS Project (consortium of Louisiana academic
libraries) funded in large part by the Louisiana Board of
THE DATABASES ARE FOUND
Through the library’s homepage
Important to access them this way as they are
licensed by their vendors for LSUS students &
faculty. If searching from off-campus, must be
authenticated as LSUS student or faculty (same
as for MyLSUS, except faculty must use their
PID & PIN)
ON LIBRARY’S HOMEPAGE (WWW.LSUS.EDU/LIBRARY) CLICK
THE FIND ARTICLES & DATABASES LINK
WHAT TYPE OF INFORMATION IS FOUND IN LIBRARY
(VARIES ACCORDING TO DATABASE)
Periodical articles (magazines, journals,
Legal information (court cases, statutes, etc.)
Reference works (dictionaries, books)
WHAT SUBJECTS DO THEY COVER ?
Some databases are multidisciplinary,
e.g., Academic Search Complete (EBSCO)
Some are subject-specific.
e.g., PsycARTICLES (EBSCO)
WHAT DO THESE DATABASES LOOK LIKE ?
DEPENDING ON THE PRODUCER/VENDOR,
Each producer/vendor will create a specific
look for the search interface/ home page
Currently LSUS Library subscribes to ca. 50
different EBSCO databases, these all have
the same look & feel
Other vendors’ products are designed differently
HOW DO DATABASES DIFFER FROM GOOGLE ?
Search engines (like Google) are searching
millions of web pages,
Databases are finite collections , e.g., articles
from 1000 journals
Databases are proprietary, i.e., owned & sold
& licensed by for-profit companies
WHAT ARE SUBSCRIPTION DATABASES ?
Means that the information is accessible only
to subscribers (the library & students &
faculty/staff), databases are fee based
WHY CAN’T I READ THE FULL TEXT ?
AVAILABILITY OF FULL TEXT VARIES,
Databases provide full text of journal articles
through licensing agreements with journals
This means that some journals will license
(sell) access to a number of back years (may
include up to current issue) of their journal
Often the most recent issues (12 mos or 6
mos) are not available full text . (embargo)
DATABASES ARE ACCESSED VIA THE LIBRARY’S
The library’s home page has a link to the
databases, Find Articles & Databases
This will list ca. 100 distinct databases
There is also a list of broad subject areas on left
Library research guides, or LibGuides will
have links to & search tips for related
ANY QUESTIONS ?
Stop in at Reference Desk, 1st Fl., Noel Library
Email us email@example.com
Call us 318-797-5068
Ref. Desk hours, same as library’s hours