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Tarleton State University Libraries Unit 7
WRAP-UP: Using Library Databases
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After reading the information in this unit you should have a better understanding about how databases work and their value to research activities. You now know that databases usually offer at least one of the following types of information:
•  citation -- publication information
•  abstract -- a brief summary of the item's contents
•  full text item -- complete electronic text of an item (usually an article), but may exclude images and graphics.

In addition, you learned that full text items are most often offered in two formats:
•  HTML files (include text, but may exclude page numbers or images) and
•  PDF files (require Adobe Acrobat Reader and are images of the actual articles).

This unit also explained how to
•  formulate searches,
•  understand search results lists and item records,
•  use links in records to run searches, and
•  locate online help screens.

At this point in the library orientation, you have obtained information about accessing resources, activities in the research process, searching efficiently, and using search tools to locate information. However, locating material is only part of what's needed. You must also evaluate your findings to see if they fit your information need, research purpose, and intended reader's expectations.

The next unit offers specific criteria to use when evaluating books, articles, and Internet resources.


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Library Orientation Site Index
Updated 8/2004