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.
Some databases include full-text (articles in their entirety), some don't. Articles published in an open access journal may be included in a database. The full text of such articles is, of course, accessible.
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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