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Database Tips & Help - General

How to use databases to find articles and information sources.

Choosing the Right Database for Your Research

Choosing a Database

Different types of databases provide access to different types of information.

  • Reference databases provide access to digital reference sources, like encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, etc.
  • News databases provide access to articles from news periodicals, like newspapers and magazines.
  • eBook & Audiobook databases provide access to digital book and audiobook content. These eBooks are the digital versions of print sources and can be used for your research in the same way as a print book.
  • Multimedia databases provide access to images, streaming video, and streaming audio content.
  • Academic databases provide access to articles in scholarly journals, and will sometimes also include articles from trade publications, magazines, or newspapers. These databases may be general or subject specific in coverage. Follow this link and use the subject menu to browse databases by subject.

Finding Databases

In addition to the links provided above, there are two other ways to find library databases. From the library homepage, find the Databases tab. In the More Research Tools menu, find the links for Databases and Research Guides.

Screenshot of library homepage with database and research guide links highlighted.


Use the Databases tab to search for databases by name or keyword. You can also use the Databases link to see a complete A to Z list of all databases to which VCSU has access. Use the letters at the top of the screen to browse databases alphabetically, or use the Advanced Search button to search or browse databases by subject, provider, or resource type.

Screenshot of A to Z database list.


The Research Guides link will take you to a list of research guides sorted by group. From there, you can find guides for specific courses or general subjects. These guides will provide links to the databases most recommended for that course or subject.

Screenshot of Research Guides By Group list.