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Databases

The Databases module teaches you how to search for journal, magazine, and newspaper ARTICLES in numerous databases and in different subject areas.

Why use a database?
You may already know that the catalog helps you locate the books, videos, newspapers, magazines, and journals we have in the library. What the catalog DOES NOT do, though, is tell you what articles are in each of the newspapers, magazines, and journals. To find that information, you need to search a database.


What is a database?
Generally speaking, a database is a collection of information on a subject or subjects that is organized in a useful manner and is often used to locate and retrieve bits of information. Most of the time we think of databases as being electronic collections of information, but non-computer-based collections, such as telephone books or cards organized and stored in file cabinets, are also databases. In this tutorial, though, we will concentrate on electronic databases and learn how to retrieve full-text articles. (Slightly reproduced from: Webster's New World Dictionary of Computer Terms, 8th ed., Bryan Pfaffenberger. Foster City, CA: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 2000. p. 142)


What does "full-text article" mean?
A full-text article is, for our purposes, an article whose entire text is available from an electronic database. Simply put, a full-text article from the July 2002 issue of Scientific American magazine is the exact article word-for-word that appeared in the actual print publication. The layout may not be the same, but the content is.


What database should I use?
Before you even begin your search, you need to determine the best database to use. The library subscribes to hundreds of databases in numerous subject areas such as psychology, philosophy, nursing, or education. Databases are grouped by subject on the Electronic Collection page, or you can view one of the many LibGuides with suggested databases. Once you've decided on the database you'd like to search, you can begin entering your terms or key terms.


Using databases from off-campus
If you plan to do your research from outside the campus, you will need to access the databases through EZ-Proxy. Because most of the electronic databases are restricted to FAU students, faculty, and staff, this server prevents unauthorized users from accessing databases that are paid for by the FAU Libraries. To use EZ-Proxy, you need to have a valid and activated Owl Card which also serves as your FAU Library Card. To have your card activated, take it to the Circulation Desk on the first floor of the S.E. Wimberly Library. Visit the Off Campus Connect/ EZproxy home page to learn more.

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