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COMP General Research

What is a Database?

Databases are compilations of information in an organized and searchable system. 

An example of a database you're probably quite familiar with is Netflix. Netflix is a database of movies. It's a bunch of movies organized in a way that's very logical. It's organized and broken down by subject areas such as Comedies and Action films. These subject areas are a way of helping you search for information. You can also type in keywords into Netflix such as a title, actor's name, or director's name in Netflix and that information will pop up in the form film results.

When we're talking about library databases, we're going to be talking about databases that more or less are scholarly sources containing peer reviewed journal articles. Some of our library databases may contain other less scholarly information, but what you're going to be looking for in this course is typically going to be scholarly peer reviewed material. Please check out the "What Are Scholarly Sources" tab on the left for more information.

Recommended General Databases

The following databases are good ones to start your search. You can find all of our Mardigian Library databases here and narrow down by subject to find a database that best meets your research needs.

  • ProQuest Research Library - ProQuest Research Library includes articles from scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines, and newspapers. The broad range of subjects covered includes arts, business, education, general interest, health, humanities, law, military, multicultural, psychology, sciences, social sciences, and women's interests. Included are more than 5,060 titles — over 3,600 in full text — from 1971 to the present.
  • Academic OneFile - Full-text articles from more than 6,000 leading journals and reference sources, including many peer-reviewed journals. Also includes thousands of podcasts and transcripts from NPR, CNN, and CBC as well as links to hundreds of medical videos from OR-Live.
  • CQ Researcher - CQ Researcher provides an in-depth look at a single current, important, news issue each week. The articles are a good starting point for finding and exploring research paper topics.
  • OmniFile Full Text Select - Full text articles on a variety of topics, from general and scholarly periodicals, covering 1994 - present.
  • Academic Search Complete - Academic Search Complete is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary resource of scholarly STEM, social science, and humanities research.
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