net.TUTOR ?1997-2012, The Ohio State University Libraries
4. Specialized Databases: What types of specialized databases are there?
Bibliographic databases identify and describe writings
or published works (books, articles, maps, etc.). They provide citations
(a listing of information about the item) and sometimes include
Bibliographic databases give you information about an item, but how
do you get to it? A library catalog will typically tell you where an
item is located. An article database, on the other hand, gives you
information that will allow you to search for the item in a library
catalog (book title, journal title, etc.). Many article databases, if
subscribed through a library, now allow you to quickly check for access.
Look for the button in many of
OSU’s databases and simply click on it to check for access.
Full-text databases are those which supply the complete text of information in the database. While a bibliographic database provides a description, a full-text database might include the descriptive information and the complete text of the item (articles, conference papers, e-books, etc.). Some full-text databases contain full text for
only some items.
Articles, encyclopedia entries, poems, or e-books databases
These databases provide mostly numeric data (numbers) in
chart or table format. In some cases, they provide raw data (survey
results, scientific studies, etc.) that can be downloaded to your
computer, so that you can analyze it and create your own reports.
Quite often, databases contain more than one data type,
such as a bibliographic database with full text or a database containing
both videos and e-books.
Compare a search for the phrase Queen Wilhelmina in the
AP Images database (a paid library resource) vs. the free
Yahoo! Images search. Note the differences in the types of images and where
they come from.
Play the Database Typegame to see if you can figure out what type of database
various items are.
Time to test your knowledge about specialized databases with a