View a tutorial -- What is a library database?
Off campus access: Requires netID@my.lsco.edu/Password after you click the database name. Some articles are available in PDF format, which requires the free reader software on to your computer.
Reference databases provide articles from encyclopedias, dictionaries or other reference-type books. It is a good idea to start researching in reference databases to gain a broad understanding of a topic, and to help you to focus your topic. Here are three of our most popular reference databases:
1. Credo Reference - over 600 different reference books covering all topics. To improve search results, click the Advanced Search link on the purple menu bar. Type your topic key words in the box and check the box to the right that says "Search only within headings." The basic search looks in the full-text of the articles, usually resulting in too many irrelevant hits.
2. Academic World Book Online - This online version of the World Book encyclopedia contains thousands of articles as well as video, interactive timelines, and interactive maps. A print copy of the World Book encyclopedia is available in our reference collection on the 2nd floor.
3. Gale's Virtual Reference Library - another collection of many encyclopedias and reference-type books covering all topics. Many of these same books are also available in print in our reference collection on 2nd floor.
Ebooks and Reference Databases - our Library Web page that lists more reference databases. Some links on the page are freely available on the Web and can be used as a Web source for part 3 of the Library Assignment. These Web databases all have a globe icon:after the name.
Many of our databases are collections of articles from magazines and journals in online form. Use one of these databases to find more recent and specific information on a topic, after you have read some background in one of the reference databases. The first four databases below are from the database company named "Ebsco," and they are pretty much the same in how they function. Watch a tutorial from Ebsco about how to use their databases:
1. Academic Search Complete - has more than 8500 different magazines and scholarly journals available in full-text. Use the check box for a "full-text only" limit. Then limit search results to magazines on the left side of results screen. Magazine articles are generally better adapted to research for speeches, unless your topic is more scholarly. Scholarly journals include academic research articles that are very narrow and specific in their focus.
2. Masterfile Premier - similar to the database above with many popular magazines not available in Academic Search Complete (Consumer Reports, Jet, Autoweek, etc.) Try both of these databases.
3. Business Source Complete - articles from magazines and journals in the business world, including information about companies and products, articles from marketing, management, accounting and finance.
4. Health Source / Consumer edition - health-related articles from leading magazines and journals aimed at the health care consumer rather than the professional. Use it for any health-related speech topic.
5. Opposing Viewpoints in Context - use this database for your persuasive speech. It presents background and pro/con arguments for current issues, including articles from well-known news magazines. On the topic page for any topic, look near the bottom for the box titled "Magazines," and click "view all." Both conservative and liberal magazines are represented for any issue.
Daily newspapers provide the most recent articles that can be found about a news event. So look in a newspaper database for anything that has happened recently. When you need persuasive speech ideas, look for a newspaper editorial, or commentary from a weekly news publication such as Newsweek or Time. Here are our most popular newspaper databases:
1. Newspaper Source - many newspapers from cities worldwide and regional. Same search screen as the magazine & journal databases listed above, from Ebsco.
2. Lexis-Nexis - many newspapers from very current issues going back thirty years, or so. It has the New York Times and news magazines also.
3. Opposing Viewpoints in Context - use this database for your persuasive speech. It has numerous pro and con arguments for all aspects of current issues including editorial articles from newspapers. After selecting a topic, look for the box titled News and click "View all" to see many newspaper articles on a specific topic.
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