The articles from journals, books, graphics, and multimedia content are some examples of the types of things that may be found in databases that are utilized for research. These databases are organized collections of data or information that are saved on a computer. You can gain access to the information you need by searching through these databases. Databases may concentrate on a wide or narrow range of topics, and the articles they save may be represented by bibliographic citations, abstracts, or even the complete texts of the articles themselves. It's possible that academics, professionals, or even generalists wrote the sources that are indexed in this database.
The vast majority of research databases that can be accessed over the World Wide Web do not charge users a fee, do not have an indexing system that is complete, and do not index materials that are confidential or proprietary. Databases that require a subscription or that are offered commercially are often more developed and include a broader choice of indexing tools, searching capabilities, and user instructions. These databases also typically require payment to access the data contained inside them.
In addition to giving access to commercial databases, the Library at Prince George's Community College provides users with the option to access databases that either cost money or are available free of charge. Through the website of the Library, users are able to acquire access to the aforementioned databases.
Your topic statement will determine the type of database, the type of material, as well as the date of the sources that you will use in your research. It is essential to be clear about whether or not your topic will require research from journals, magazines, newspapers, and books, or if it would only require research from journals. See the `Magazines, Journals, and Newspapers: What's the Difference` section under `Evaluating Sources` to gain an understanding of the distinctions that exist between periodicals such as magazines, journals, and newspapers.
It is crucial that you build a well planned and comprehensive search strategy before you begin searching the databases; this should be done before you even start searching. You need to decide what your keywords are and how you want them to connect with one another. Always be sure to read the help screens and go through any tutorials that have been designed specifically for the database you're working with.
After you have decided what your keywords are, you should look through any subject headings or guidelines that may be available to find regulated vocabulary like a thesaurus that may be included in the subject field. You should also consider which additional fields would be useful for your search before continuing.
The majority of online databases implement one of the most fundamental and effective search algorithms available, which is called boolean searching.
Please refer to the section titled `Search Tactics` for further assistance with search strategies.