Skip to Main Content

WRI 1100 -- Online Library Instruction

Dedicated SFC Librarians engaging students during the global pandemic

Introduction to Databases


SFC Library subscribes to a plethora of databases that cover a wide range of topics. The purpose of this section is an introduction on how to search and access databases that are available for students at the library. 

What is a database?

A database is a searchable collection of information. In library research, a database is where you find journal articles. Each database contains thousands of articles which you can search for simultaneously and quickly to find articles with higher relevancy than searching in individual journals. 


  • Can include journals, newspapers, magazines, reports, newsletters and more
  • Sometimes includes books, but if you want books specifically, use the library catalogue
  • Can focus on one subject or be multidisciplinary
  • Often give you full text; others show only the abstract and citation
  • You can print, save, or email citations and, if available, the full-text article (in pdf format)
  • Might look different but have similar functions, like limiting to only peer-reviewed journals or searching by date
  • Check a database's help page for tips May only contain a certain date range (you might miss some content)
  • Sometimes leave out article images; if you need to see an important photo or diagram, you will need to find the article in print
  • Can be used off campus, if you login with your campus-wide username and password
  • Are also called subscription databases, online databases, article databases, and electronic resources

Relevant Databases