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Distance Education: Databases

Shepard Library offers many resources for research. Use the tabs below for information on locating books, journals, databases and other items relevant to your studies. Shepard Library is your portal to information resources and research assistance!

Shepard Library Databases

 What is a database?

What is a library database?

  • A library database is a searchable, electronic (online) catalog or index
  • Library databases contain information about published items
  • Shepard Library subscribes to many databases and provides access to these resources via WebVPN.  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 also provide citation information in various styles: APA, MLA or Chicago to name a few. Citations typically consist of:

  • The author name or names
  • The title of the article
  • The title of the reference source (Journal/Magazine/Newspaper)
  • The publisher
  • The date of Publication
  • The access link if the article is online

Some library databases provide the full text of the entire article for items they index. Full text is exactly as it sounds: the complete work either in print or electronic form.

Some library databases also provide abstracts of the items they index.  Abstracts are short, descriptive summaries of articles found in scholarly journals that usually appears at the beginning of an article. 

Some library databases provide bibliographies of the items they index. A bibliographic database is an organized digital collection of references to published literature, including journal and newspaper articles, conference proceedings, reports, government and legal publications, patents, books, etc. rather than complete monographs. They generally contain very rich subject descriptions in the form of keywords, subject classification terms, or abstracts. A bibliographic database may be general in scope or cover a specific academic discipline

Selected Databases

Academic Search Complete Provides abstract and indexing for over 3,200 scholarly journals covering a wide variety of subject areas from 1984 to present.  Includes many complete articles from over 1,000 journals including 380 journals dating back to 1990. Topics include:

  •  Biology and Chemistry
  •  Education and the Humanities
  •  Environmental Earth and Geospatial Sciences
  •  Business and Social Sciences
  •  Math and Physics

ARTstor is a nonprofit resource, that provides more than one million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences.  Users can browse or search collections from hundreds of museums, artists, artists' estates, photographers, scholars, special collections, and photo archives. ARTstor consists of:

  •  Over a million digital images and related data
  •  An accessible suite of software tools for presentation,   teaching and research

ERIC is an online digital library of education research and information providing ready access to education literature to support educational research. ERIC contains more than 1.3 million records and links to more than 323,000 full-text documents in topics including:

  • Adult, Career, and Vocational Education
  • Assessment & Evaluation
  • Early Childhood through Higher Education
  • Educational Management