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Library Orientation for Students: Why Databases?

Databases - Why not use Google exclusively?

  • Most scholarly information sources are not in Google. Even though we've made it easy for you to search in Google Scholar then link out to many of Phillips Library's information sources, why not get to know real information sources behind Google?
  • Access to library databases is controlled through IP recognition on our proxy server.
    If you are off-campus and click on links to databases you will see this login form .  
    Enter your Mount Login to authenticate your access. 

  • Library databases contain information from controlled sources.
    • Examples: Magazine and newspaper articles,encyclopedias and other reference books.
  • Library databases are searchable because they have controlled indexing.
    • By Keywords, Subject, Author, Magazine Title, Date, etc.
  • Library databases provide citation information which validates sources.
    • Author, if available
    • Title of Article
    • Publication (Title of Magazine, Newspaper, or Reference Book)
    • Publisher
    • Date of Publication
  • Most library databases now contain full-text articles.
    Not long ago, databases provided a few clues as to where the articles could be found and photocopied at your expense.  

  • There are different kinds of library databases.  Check out the complete list of the library's databases here.
    • For specific topics. Example: EBSCO Business Source Complete, EEBO 
    • For general topics Example: EBSCO Academic Search Complete 
    • Reference databases for facts, statistics and tables.  Example: RefUSA

Database vs. Internet

Library Databases
Library databases get their information from professionals or experts in the field. Websites may be written by anyone regardless of expertise.
Library databases contain published works where facts are checked. Website content is not necessarily checked by an expert.
Library databases are easy to cite in a bibliography and may create the citation for you. Websites often don't provide the information necessary to create a complete citation.
Library databases can help you narrow your topic or suggest related subjects. Websites often aren't organized to support a student's research needs.
Library databases are updated frequently and include the date of publication. Websites may not indicate when a page is updated.

Another way to compare Internet Sources and Databases

Use the Library's Article Databases when you:

  • need to find scholarly journal articles, magazine articles, newspaper
  • articles and information not indexed or available on the web
  • want to save time on your research
  • need access to credible information specific to your topic
  • are looking for biographical information
  • are looking for statistical information

Browse the Internet when you:

  • are able to evaluate the content of websites
  • want to access government information
  • want to access commercial sites
  • want to see advertisements
  • want instant access to today's news
  • want to find information on organizations, groups, personal web pages related to a topic.

Journal Search

Finding scholarly articles and journals is sometimes easier done by searching for the journal title in the Journal Finder.

blication and ownership of journals is so widely dispersed in the world and most of these publications are not in the public domain.  

Links within the Journal Finder will take you to journals to which Phillips Library subscribes. 



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