Database Guide

About Databases (what are they?)
A database is "a usually large collection of data organized especially for rapid search or retrieval (as by a computer)" Merriam Webster online dictionary. In libraries, databases can also be called periodical indexes, article indexes, or abstracting and indexing databases. Databases are library tools that help you locate articles and other materials by title, on a particular topic or by a specific author. Waggoner subscribes to a large number of databases. It helps to know some of the characteristics of our library databases before you search.  It is also important to note that you should select the Help feature on the individual databases for complete instruction on using the tools and features provided.

General Databases can cover many subjects in one search. You have the option to search a grouped number of databases provided by a service simultaneously, or you may select one or more database at a time. Examples of general databases are ProQuest Central and Academic OneFile.

Subject Specific Databases can be selected that will limit your results to a particular subject. Examples are Business Source Complete, ERIC Plus Text, APA PsycArticles, and ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials.

Databases vs. Internet Sites The library subscribes to selected databases that provide resources supporting the programs of Trevecca Nazarene University. These resources are not freely available on the Web and they contain information appropriate for research.  Internet sites can also be useful but there are considerations that should be made in using these such as authority, bias, currency and coverage.  

Locating Databases (where are they?)

There are a number of ways to access the databases.

Electronic Resources  Most often access to the databases is made by selecting Electronic Resources from the library homepage.  When the Electronic Reseources page is opened you will have the option to select from specific databases such as ProQuest Direct or you may choose to view a list databases by subject or by name.

LibGuides  These give assistance to research within a given subject area.  Within the guide are links to the databases and other valuable content pertinent to the subject area.

Journal Title Search  This can be used if the title of the journal is known.  The library homepage contains Catalog Search drop box.  Click the arrow and select Journal Title.  In the open box type the name of the desired journal.  If the journal is from any of the Waggoner databases, there will be a link that will take you to the available electronic issues and (or) a listing of what is available in print.

Off Campus Access to Databases  You will be prompted to log in when trying to access the databases from off campus it is necessary to enter your ID number located on the Trevecca picture ID card.  The longer number on the right is followed by the two digits located on the left side of the card.  You may also choose to log in to My Account on the library homepage before you begin searching, this will give you access to the databases. For additional assistance with off campus access please call 248-1214.  

General Information for Searching Databases (what does this mean?)

What is actually viewed within the databases varies according to the provider.  The interface is quite different between for example ProQuest and EBSCO.  There are similarities though among the features offered in the databases.  It is helpful to know the terms used by the providers.

Scholarly/Refereed/Peer Reviewed  In most of the databases you have the option to limit your results to scholarly, refereed, or peer reviewed.  A professor will often specify the use of these types of journals as they are of an academic nature as opposed to popular or general reading material. 

Keyword  A keyword search does not use standardized subject headings, and often searches all data fields within a record for the term (eg, "brown" as a keyword might retrieve items with Brown in the author field as well as items with "brown" in the text or title). Keyword searching allows flexible and powerful features such as Boolean operators, truncation, and field searching.

Subject/ Suggested Topics Search This type of search uses standardized subject headings assigned by the indexers.  If the correct subject/topic is selected the results are usually highly relevant.  

Limit Your Search  It is possible to reduce the number of results returned by choosing certain limiting options.  Limits can be selected by date, full-text only, scholarly only, or to particular journal titles.  

Viewing Options  After a search has been preformed and the results list is displayed, a selection of viewing options must be made.  The Full text option will give you the text of the article possibly without graphic additions.  The PDF file will give you the page image of the article as seen in the journal itself.  (This requires that the free version of Adobe Reader be downloaded onto the computer).  And the final option is the Abstract of the article. This will be a short summary of the article along with citation information.

ResearchPro  This link is available from the library homepage and will allow a search for multiple databases at one time.  The options are there to select as many and as few databases as desired.  It is also possible to save a specific search path so that it can be retrieved later.