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Science Databases: Sci Databases

Information about and training options for many science databases

Choosing a Database

Think! Much science is interdisciplinary these days.

If your topic is in organic chemistry or biochemistry, perhaps the biology databases will have information for you. If your topic is in physical chemistry, check the physics databases. If your topic is health related, check the health databases. If you're investigating the chemical industry, check the business databases, too. If your topic is paleontology, check the geology, biology, and chemistry databases.

About Science Databases

Traditional library databases usually include records of journal articles, books, and other publications. Science databases, however, can be very different. Some contain geographic coordinate searching, graphical searching, chemical structure searching, 3-D images, mathematical formulas, patents, and other discipline appropriate features and data. As such, they may be intimidating when first encountered. Don't be discouraged. Like many things, practice and familiarity make their use simpler and more efficient. As you learn concepts within the discipline, you learn how to use many of the specialized features of the databases.

Many science databases do not contain full-text; however, they may link to the full-text of a source. Science databases may be very expensive and may not be available to the general public outside of a university or corporate setting.

About Databases

A database is a structured collection of records or data. A file cabinet of files and folders is a database. A spreadsheet of data is a database. A software program of searchable bibliographic library records is also a database and is more commonly thought of when the term "database" is used.

The ISU Library provides access to many electronic databases that are useful for research, study, and knowledge acquisition. Some are available for free to anyone but some are provided through a subscription paid by the Indiana State University Library.

Databases can be an efficient and effective way to search for information. Electronic databases use a search engine to simultaneously search, access, and retrieve relevant records from multiple journals and other sources. Patrons enter into the search engine terms relevant to what they wants to know and the search engine retrieves records with those terms according to whatever rules were programmed into that search engine.

Different search engines work differently. They follow different rules for searching and ordering results. And different databases contain different records within them so it is useful to search more than one database if you are researching a topic thoroughly.

Recommended Science Databases

Recommended databases are chosen because they may be standards in their field, may be larger, or may contain better quality information on average than the other database choices. This does not guarantee that they are the best choice for YOUR research topic.

Additional Science Databases

These databases were selected because they contain a significant amount of science content. Additional databases such as the general or multidisciplinary databases may contain good science journals, too. It is just that science is not a significant portion of their content.

Subject Guide

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