What is a database?

What is the basic definition of a library database?

  • A library database is an electronic (online) catalog or index
  • Library databases contain information about published items
  • Library databases are searchable
  • The library subscribes to many databases so the CSULA community has access to these resources.  When you're searching a database, you are not searching "the web."

What types of items are indexed by library databases?

Library databases allow you to find:

  • Articles in Journals/Magazines/Newspapers
  • Reference Information (i.e. entries from Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, etc.)
  • Books & other documents

What types of information do library databases provide?

Databases provide citation information about the items they index. A citation typically consists of:

  • Author's name
  • Title of Article
  • Source (i.e. Title of the Journal/Magazine/Newspaper)
  • Publisher
  • Date of Publication

Some library databases also provide abstracts of the items they index.  An abstract is a brief summary of the article.

And some library databases provide the full text (the entire article) for items they index.

How do library databases differ in what they cover?

Some library databases index items from many subject areas. If you're not sure which database to choose, the "Academic Search Premiere" database is a good place to start.

Most library databases index items from a specific subject (i.e. academic discipline). To locate a database by subject, return to the Article & Reference Databases Page.


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