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Database Basics

  • A database is used to organize and give access to a group of items, e.g. journal articles.

  • Databases are comprised of records. Each record represents one item in the database, e.g. one article.

  • The records in a database are comprised of fields. Each field provides a particular piece of information about the item, e.g. author, title, etc.

  • A library catalogue is a database that describes what the library owns. Each item in the catalogue describes a book or other item in the library.

  • An article index is a database that describes the contents of a particular set of journals, magazines, newspapers and /or other documents.

  • Some article indexes' coverage is limited to discipline, or group of disciplines, and some are general in scope.

  • Some article indexes provide only a citation to the article, some abstract, and some the full text of the article.

  • You can search the fields in a database to find what you want. The two most common methods are searching by keyword or phrase and browsing an alphabetical list.


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