Libraries have been able to take advantage of technology and it has greatly enhanced many aspects of research. Most libraries now have an electronic catalog and many periodical indexes are available online as well.

Many of these online indexes are not just mere copies of the print version but have many additonal features as well; full text access, online forms for interlibrary loan and many other features. There are also electronic versions of encyclopedias, almanacs, directories, and other reference-type resources.

With all these sources, literally at your fingertips, identifying the right resource to use is the first step. You will want to choose "Research Databases" to begin.

 

From this page you can choose a database by title. Choose a sujbect area from the list under "Search by Subject" if you want to see which databases cover certain subject areas.

 

The table gives you a lot of information about each database, including which database contains full-text articles. The library subscribes to these databases from a variety of companies. Each company has a unique look. The majority of databases are accessed through EBSCOhost or FirstSearch.

EBSCOhost - Several different databases covering a wide range of subject disciplines. Over 3,000 journals are indexed in EBSCOhost, and many of these have the complete text of the articles available online.

FirstSearch - An online database service with more than 60 different databases, covering a variety of subject areas. Most of the databases within FirstSearch are electronic indexes to periodical articles. There are some statistical and directory databases as well.

EBSCOhost and FirstSearch are two online services that each contain several databases. Each one is sort of like a shopping mall. A shopping mall is one building, but with many different stores within the mall. The store you shop in depends on what you want to purchase. If you want to buy shoes, you go into a shoe store. If you want music, you go into a music store. Each database has information on different topics (like education or medicine), and the best information is found by going into the right database.

Sometimes, though, you can go into a department store like J.C. Penney and find many kinds of things (shoes, clothing, bedding, jewelry, etc.). The same is true of some of the databases: some databases provide a kind of "one-stop shopping" for information on lots of different topics. These are general, all-purpose databases.

We have 2 "shopping malls" here (EBSCOhost and FirstSearch), and each one has different "stores." The first step in doing effective information shopping is to choose the correct "mall," and then you need to choose the right "store." This module will introduce you to these 2 database services. You will learn how to use each of them, and learn how to obtain resources that you find via these services.

 


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