It is important to distinguish databases from the Internet because the Internet poses two problems. First, can you really trust that the person putting information up at www.iknoweverything.com really knows what they are talking about? The freedom of information that the Internet provides is indeed a lovely thing, but it does have its down side. The second drawback posed by the Internet is that all of the truly good information on the Internet usually requires a subscription fee. Have you noticed that a newspaper’s website will charge up to two dollars to access an article from its archive? So while there is the illusion of the Internet being “free,” in most cases when you find what you really want, it comes at a price.
So what is a Library Database?
Library databases contain information from published works.
Magazines, Journals, newspaper articles, encyclopedias, and other reference books.
Library databases are searchable.
By Keywords, Subject, Author, Magazine Title, Date, and more
Library databases provide citation information.
Author, if available Title of Article Publication (Title of Magazine, Newspaper, or Reference Book) Publisher Date of Publication
Library databases often contain full-text articles.
You can print or email an entire article! If it’s a PDF, it will look just like you actually laid hands on the actual magazine or journal to make a copy!
There are different kinds of library databases
Specific topics: Biography Resource Center, Novelist, Auto Repair Reference Center
General topics: FirstSearch, Infotrac, ProQuest, World Book Online
- Library databases are paid for by taxpayer dollars.
How is a library databases different from the Web?
|Library databases get their information from professionals or experts in the field.||Websites may be written by anyone regardless of expertise.|
|Library databases contain published works where facts are checked.||Website content is not necessarily checked by an expert.|
|Library databases are easy to cite in a bibliography and may create the citation for you.||Websites often don't provide the information necessary to create a complete citation.|
|Library databases can help you narrow your topic or suggest related subjects.||Websites often aren't organized to support a student's research needs.|
|Library databases are updated frequently and include the date of publication.||Websites may not indicate when a page is updated.|