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Introduction to the Library for AS1001 -03 Miriam Belmaker: Find Articles

Library Databases

While there are newspapers and other services available free online, the library databases are services to which McFarlin pays to have access. Most of the articles contained in the library databases cannot be found through a search engine.

What is a library database?

A library database, such as Academic Search Complete,  is an organized collection of electronic information that allows a user to search for a particular topic, article, or book in a variety of ways (e.g., keyword, subject, author, title). Library databases contain thousands to millions of records or articles. The library purchases subscriptions to these databases (similar to purchasing a subscription to a magazine or newspaper).

What types of resources are indexed by library databases?

  • scholarly journals, popular magazines, and newspaper articles
  • reference materials (e.g., entries from dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.)
  • books, pamphlets, government documents, etc.

What types of information do library databases provide for these resources?

  • All databases provide citation information about the items they index. A citation typically consists of: author's name, title of article, title of the book, journal, magazine, and newspaper, publisher, date of publication.
  • Most library databases also provide abstracts of the items they index.  An abstract is a brief summary of the article.
  • Many library databases also provide the full text (the entire article or book) for items they index.

How do library databases differ in what they cover?

Some library databases are general - meaning that they index items from many subject areas or academic disciplines. If you're not sure which database to choose, you may want to start your research with our most comprehensive and general database, Academic Search Complete. Most library databases index items from a specific subject area or academic discipline (e.g., business, health, history, psychology). To locate a database by subject, browse our LibGuides (Library Research Guides). Each LibGuide will suggest the most useful or appropriate databases for doing research in that field of study.

How do I access and use the library databases?

The library databases can be accessed from the library’s home page.


Adapted from Library Instruction - Package Two - 75 Minute Session by J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Library.  Used with permission.

Frequently Used Library Databases

Frequently Used Databases

Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Systematic downloading of the licensed and copyrighted content of McFarlin Library's electronic resources, such as the use of scripted searches, download accelerators or web robots (i.e., "bots") of any kind, is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. You should download only the content you require for your immediate research needs or course assignment. For more information, please see McFarlin Library's Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources.