Library databases do a lot of the hard work of the research process for you. They have been professionally evaluated and selected by your college librarians for their authoritative and reliable content. Library databases contain full-text peer-reviewed and scholarly journals as well as newspapers, professional, trade, and popular magazines. They provide primary source materials, reference sources, statistical resources, and a wealth of other information you can trust.
To find articles:
Go to http://library.tccd.edu
Click on "Find Articles Alphabetical List or By Subject"
The Internet is good for a lot of searches and source types. For example, if you need very current information or news and commentary, Web searching is a good strategy.
Databases are special -- they are collections of information (usually articles from magazines and scholarly sources) made available to subscribers. Databases are very valuable because they contain and maintain specific collections, and are relatively easy to search. We use the Web to access Database collections, but articles accessed are not considered "online" or "web" sources in the same way that a Wikipedia entry is.
You'll also see that we've grouped the databases into subjects near the top of the database page.
Doing an argumentative essay in an entry English course?
Need Law Review articles, cases, or in-depth business information?
Working on a literature criticism research paper?
Try the Literature Resource Center.
Generally, the same principles that apply in our book catalog searches, and the same principles you use in a Web search, apply in databases:
Side Search Strategies
To formulate your database search, think about your topic carefully. Ask yourself the following:
What is the most concise word or words I can use to describe my topic?
Are there any other words that mean the same thing?
Do I need to add any words to my search to make my topic more clear to the computer? For example using the search phrase : "soft drink" and marketing indicates to the database software that you want articles on the marketing of soft drinks. Using the search phrase: "soft drink" and industry indicates to the database software that you want articles on the manufacturing and industrial aspects of soft drinks.
Boolean operators are essentially command words to the database. The words "and," "or," and "not" are boolean operators when used in a database search. Since these three words are common enough to turn up in just about every article in a database, the database software sees these words in a search string as specific commands.
When you want the database to search for a specific phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks: "soft drink" indicates to the database software that you want to retrieve articles about "soft drink"s, not every article containing the word soft and every article containing the word drink.