What is a database?

Answered By: Richard Fallis
Last Updated: Feb 02, 2015     Views: 35

A database is an electronic collection of information, organised in such a way that it can be searched.

For example, the QCat Library Catalogue is a database of books and journals held in the Library at Queen's.

The Library has access to many other databases of information for a range of subjects, including bibliographic databases listing millions of articles from 1,000s of journals. Some examples of bibliographic databases are JSTOR, Web of Science, SCOPUS and MEDLINE.

Databases offer a great way of searching quickly but thoroughly for quality information on a topic (as opposed to using Google, which may provide you with poor-quality results).

You can find a list of the databases relevant to your subject or research area by visiting the Subject Help page appropriate to you.

For advice or training on searching databases, please contact your Subject Librarian.

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