Database by Subject

Most students will typically use "Databases by Subject" which will divide each database by general topic area covered in any given database.

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Each subject area is a hyperlink to a specific location on the "Database by Subject" webpage. There will be some overlap as databases such as Academic Search Complete and CQ Researcher will cover multiple disciplines. As typical of most topic divisions, some will be very specific and others will be more general in nature. For instance, under the Allied Health link you will encounter a database called Medline which will just present journals and articles written in and about the medical field. This is a specialized database that covers in-depth a single topic. While you may encounter articles covering such topics as nursing, physical therapy, pathology, pediatrics, etc., all of these articles will fall under the health and medicine topic area. We mentioned in our library tour and other online tutorials that in order to get a broad survey on a variety of topics, you can visit reference sources that are meant to be referred to rather than read. These cover a variety of broad subject areas. Referencing this sort of basic, introductory level information is no different in a database. If you click on the "Reference" hyperlink, it will bring you to the databases that contain those easy to read entries.

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Some good databases in this subject area to start exploring a topic with are Credo Reference, Oxford English Dictionary, World Book Advanced and Funk & Wagnall's New World Encyclopedia. Each database has its own collection of entries and articles although there is some overlap. You should never limit yourself to just one database when researching a topic as you may miss some crucial and important information. Exploring these more generalized sources is a good starting point.

At some point during your research, you may want to find more in depth information on a subject. In a research project where you are seeking sources on other societies and cultures, you could view a general overview in an online encyclopedia or atlas or search for more specific information in databases tailored to that particular topic. The subject areas of Religion, Geography, Sociology and History would be good groups to delve deeper. For more current information on different cultures, you could also try Current Events and Journalism and News. Each of these subject areas will help you find information that is closely related to you primary subject.