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Library Services and Resources for Undergraduate Students

A guide highlighting services, resources and collections available to our students

So What Is a Database?

A database is an online source of information that has a search engine. Some examples include:

  • Library catalogs.
  • Online collections of journals and/or ebooks. 


It is important to understand what type of database to use for your needs. Remember that you can use more than one database for your research needs. You can find a database using the following library resources:

How Do I Choose?

To determine which database to use ask yourself the following questions:

  • What subject does the database cover?
  • Does it provide current information or is it useful for historical research?
  • Does it contain peer-reviewed sources, newspapers, books, or only citations for sources?
  • Do I need to review a wide-range of sources or do I have a narrow focus?

For example, if you are conducting research for an annotated bibliography in Freshman Year Experience you might search the Academic Search Complete database because it is multidisciplinary and covers a wide range of subjects. Or you may choose Discover to search multiple databases at one time! Take a look at the "Finding Library Materials" tab to view the tutorial on how to search Discover if this is your choice. 

On the contrary, if you are looking for primary research in the Nursing field, you may want to look at the Nursing Subject Guide and select the Nursing & Allied Health database.