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What is a database?

What is a full-text database exactly?
Last Updated: Aug 14, 2013  |  218 Views
 
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Finding articles is actually a lot like buying music.  There are different ways to do it.  You can go into a music store and buy an album, but if you're just interested in one or two songs off that album, you end up having to buy the whole album.  However, if you're just wanting one or two songs, the best way to do this would be to go on your computer, to iTunes, and just download the one or two songs from that album that you are interested in. 

Articles are similar to individual songs off an album, because they are published together with other articles in a print periodical; kind of like songs are published together with other songs in an album.  If you're just interested in one article, chances are you won't need the whole magazine.  But, if you wanted to "buy" that article in a store, you'd have to buy the whole magazine, just like having to buy the whole album of songs in a music store. 

That's where the full-text databases come in.  Thanks to full-text databases, you can easily search for articles and access articles independently of the print periodicals that they appear in.  Full-text databases are like iTunes, but for articles instead of songs.  Full-text databases do for articles what iTunes does for music.  With iTunes, you can buy individual songs off someone's album to download, without having to get that whole entire album.  Similarly, Full-text databases allow you to access individual articles from a print periodical without actually having to get that entire print periodical. 

Full-text databases are expensive subscription-based websites that the library subscribes to.  You can access the full-text databases from the Library Resource page of the library's website for free, simply by logging in using your MCC username and password, and download whichever articles you'd like for free.

Table displaying differences between iTunes and a full text database

Answered by Colin MageeBookmark and Share

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