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A database is an organized collection of data.[1] It is the collection of schemas, tables, queries, reports, views and other objects. The data is typically organized to model aspects of reality in a way that supports processes requiring information, such as modelling the availability of rooms in hotels in a way that supports finding a hotel with vacancies.
Database management systems (DBMS) are computer software applications that interact with the user, other applications, and the database itself to capture and analyze data. A general-purpose DBMS is designed to allow the definition, creation, querying, update, and administration of databases. Well-known DBMSs include MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase and IBM DB2. A database is not generally portable across different DBMSs, but different DBMS can interoperate by using standards such as SQL and ODBC or JDBC to allow a single application to work with more than one DBMS. Database management systems are often classified according to the database model that they support; the most popular database systems since the 1980s have all supported the relational model as represented by the SQL language.[disputed discuss] Sometimes a DBMS is loosely referred to as a 'database'.
The Undergraduate Library's Find Articles Guide has databases listed by specific discipline/subject categories for your assistance.
General Interest Databases
General interest databases are a great place to begin research or for a general topic. These databases contain the broadest range of materials and include many different subjects and disciplines. Examples of general interest databases include:
  • Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) - Identifies magazine and journals articles in most subject areas including social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, medical sciences, and ethnic studies.
  • Academic OneFile (Infotrac) - This multi-disciplinary database provides access to over 3000 journals, with links to full text for over half of the journals.
Discipline-Specific Databases
Discipline-based databases are more focused then general interest databases. These databases include materials in several related subject areas. Materials are usually only from professional/trade publications and scholarly/academic journals. If you are having trouble finding information on your topic in general interest databases, try a discipline-based database.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch - Identifies full text access for 200 newspapers and journals of the ethnic, minority, and native press.
  • PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) - Contains information sources for government, political science, social science, and related topics.
  • SocINDEX (EBSCO) - Identifies articles in all areas of sociology including anthropology, criminology, ethnic & racial studies, gender studies, politics, religion, rural sociology, social psychology, and urban studies.
  • Sport Discus - Scholarly and popular information on all aspects of sports, exercise, training, etc.
Subject-Specific Databases
If you are doing in-depth research on a topic, you will want to use subject-specific databases. These databases usually only contain materials from professional/trade publications and scholarly/academic journals. Below are some examples, but a list of all available subjects can be viewed on the Online Journals and Databases page.
  • ABI/INFORM - Identifies articles on business, finance, and management topics from regional, U.S. and international publications.
  • CINAHL (EBSCO) - (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) - Authoritative coverage of the literature related to nursing and allied health.
  • Historical Abstracts - Scholarly articles on the history of the world from 1450-present.
  • PsycINFO - Identifies articles, books and dissertations in psychology and related subjects.
  • Reduced data redundancy
  • Reduced updating errors and increased consistency
  • Greater data integrity and independence from applications programs
  • Improved data access to users through use of host and query languages
  • Improved data security
  • Reduced data entry, storage, and retrieval costs
  • Facilitated development of new applications program
  • Database systems are complex, difficult, and time-consuming to design
  • Substantial hardware and software start-up costs
  • Damage to database affects virtually all applications programs
  • Extensive conversion costs in moving form a file-based system to a database system
  • Initial training required for all programmers and users

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