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History: What is a database

What is in a database?

Databases give you the information needed to find the article

  • Citation – although the index may not contain the article itself, the citation will provide information that you need to find the article.

  • Abstract – It may also include an abstract or summary of the article’s content.

  • Full text – sometimes an index will link to the complete text of an article.

Why do you use a database?

A database will show you articles that match for your search terms. 

Otherwise, you would have to look through each issue of each periodical for articles on your topic.  Some databases also include books, or references to books, conference proceedings, and other types of reports.  Sometimes the database includes the full text of the source referenced.

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