Answered By: Susan Steele
Last Updated: Nov 11, 2017     Views: 348

Merriam-Webster Dictionary (Britannica Academic Edition) defines database as a "...collection of data organized especially for rapid search and retrieval (as by a computer)." Library research databases identify, describe, and often include or link to full text of published information sources such as journal articles, newspaper articles, books, ebooks, government documents, etc.

Some library databases (examples: Academic Search Complete, OmniFile Full Text Mega) are appropriate for any subject or topic. Others such as Humanities Full Text or Women's Studies International focus on a particular subject discipline while still others focus on a specific information format (Films on Demand, for example, includes only streaming videos). OneSearch can be used to search almost all of the library's databases at once (be aware that it lacks some specialized limiters and features found in individual databases).

While some databases like PubMed are free on the World Wide Web, access to most must be purchased by the library or state-funded programs like TexShare. Many of the library's subscription databases come from just a few providers or vendors, such as EBSCO and ProQuest.

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