Monday, April 04, 2011

"Database: A structured collection of data..."

You may have noticed that we have the word "database" all over our web pages. The beginning of the definition of the word as given in the Oxford English Dictionary is in the title of this posting. The "data" in the case of the things we provide to you tends to come in several forms: articles from journals, magazines and newspapers; entries from encyclopedias, and other information sources.

For example, in the "old days," (say 10 years ago,) if you were looking for articles in science journals it would have worked like this. You would have first looked through the appropriate science index, which would give you reference to articles, then you would have checked the catalog to see if we had those journals, then if we did you would have gone to find them, then copy them... Lots of steps, and time consuming, but that's how it worked. Now however you can sit at any PC, go to a database like ScienceDirect, run your search, bring up articles, print them off and you're all set. Not only is it more convenient by far, we have access to a lot more things this way than we ever did in those old days of 10 years ago :-)

If you're curious to see all the databases in a nice list, go to our Databases A-Z page.

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