You'll see the word 'database' a lot when working through the InfoSkills tutorial, so let's be sure you know what a database is.
A database is a collection of information, specially organized for rapid search and retrieval by a computer. You already use a database when you search for songs in Spotify, friends on Instagram, or clothes in a webshop.
A library database includes information about credible documents such as articles from scholarly journals, professional journals, newspapers, or magazines. Some library databases also include information about (e-)books or non-traditionally published sources such as working papers and reports.
The full text of publications may or may not be included in a database.
Databases are comprised of records representing individual items, for instance scholarly articles. Articles (and, depending on the database, other types of sources) included in a database are called 'documents'.
Database records contain fields that describe the document. Each field represents a single bit of information about the document, such as the title or the year of publication.
Field names may vary, but in library databases the following fields are common:
Here's a record from the database PsycINFO:
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