What are research databases?
Research databases are electronic resources that contain an organized body of related information from a wide range of well-known, authoritative sources. Although they are distributed via the Web, traditional search engines such as Google or Yahoo cannot easily retrieve the content (magazine and newspaper articles, reference books, television and radio broadcast transcripts, maps, photographs, pamphlets, etc.) in these resources. The scope of coverage varies—some databases such as EbscoHost are very broad, others such as Heritage Quest are more specialized.
What is the difference between using a database and doing a search on Google?
The information in databases has been reviewed and edited and comes from reliable, authoritative sources. Google returns results from public websites. Although there is an enormous volume of information on the Web, no oversight exists to guarantee the information retrieved is accurate, objective, and current.
Is there any charge for using them?
No. The Library has purchased subscriptions to these databases, so they can be provided free of charge to our patrons. Anyone can use them for free in the library and Library cardholders can also access the majority of the databases from home.