Types of Databases
Databases can be organized by the scope of the information they contain.
Being aware of what this scope is can be helpful in selecting a database to begin your information
The Undergraduate Library's
Find Articles Guide has
databases listed by specific discipline/subject categories for your assistance.
General Interest Databases
General interest databases are a great place to begin research or for a general topic. These
databases contain the broadest range of materials and include many different subjects and
disciplines. Examples of general interest databases include:
Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)
- Identifies magazine and journals articles in most subject areas including social sciences,
humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, medical sciences, and ethnic studies.
Academic OneFile (Infotrac)
- This multi-disciplinary database provides access to over 3000 journals, with links to
full text for over half of the journals.
Discipline-based databases are more focused then general interest databases. These databases
include materials in several related subject areas. Materials are usually only from
professional/trade publications and scholarly/academic journals. If you are having trouble finding
information on your topic in general interest databases, try a discipline-based database.
- Identifies full text access for 200 newspapers and journals of the ethnic, minority, and
PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service)
- Contains information sources for government, political science, social science, and
- Identifies articles in all areas of sociology including anthropology, criminology, ethnic
& racial studies, gender studies, politics, religion, rural sociology, social psychology, and
- Scholarly and popular information on all aspects of sports, exercise, training,
If you are doing in-depth research on a topic, you will want to use subject-specific databases.
These databases usually only contain materials from professional/trade publications and
scholarly/academic journals. Below are some examples, but a list of all available subjects can be
viewed on the
Journals and Databases page.
- Identifies articles on business, finance, and management topics from regional, U.S. and
- (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) - Authoritative coverage of the
literature related to nursing and allied health.
- Scholarly articles on the history of the world from 1450-present.
- Identifies articles, books and dissertations in psychology and related subjects.
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