A database is a collection of articles which are accessible online, but which (in most cases) first appeared in print sources such as scholarly journals, magazines written for the general public, or newspapers. The articles have been placed online so that they can be easily searched and accessed.
A database normally lets you search for articles in a variety of ways, including by keyword, subject or author. Some of the articles you retrieve will in actuality only be article abstracts, or summaries. Other articles will appear in full-text form, meaning the entire article is available to you. Most databases have a full-text option you can choose so that only full-text articles will appear in your search results.
For a short overview of databases, check out this 4 minute video.
You can also go to an alphabetical listing of all the databases offered by STLCC Libraries.
Articles are generally shorter than books and usually focus on more specific topics. Articles published in different types of sources serve different purposes and are written with specific audiences in mind. Some library databases include articles from many of the following types of sources. Other databases are specialized by subject area or by type of source.
Magazines are written for a general audience, although they may have a specific subject area. They are usually published weekly or monthly. Articles can range from brief news items to more in-depth thoughtful analysis and commentary.
Newspapers are usually published daily or weekly. They are good sources for the latest news about current events. Most newspapers have a separate editorial or opinion section (often abbreviated Op-Ed), which can be useful for finding different points of view. Newspapers often have a local focus on the city or region where they are published.
Journals can be highly technical in language and concepts and are about the latest findings in a field. They often include original research and are written by scholars, scientists, or other experts. Many journal articles are peer-reviewed, meaning they have undergone rigorous evaluation by a panel of other scholars or researchers.
Trade or professional publications fall in between the technical level of journals and magazines. They typically include articles of interest to people in a particular trade, profession, or industry.
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