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Database Searching: Introduction

Off-Campus Access

Accessing the Library's Databases

To view and search within the library's provided databases, you will be asked to sign in when off campus.  The steps to accessing databases from off campus are shown below.  

Academic Databases through the Library's Website

Starting at the library's homepage, click on the "Database List" button located under Quick Links.  This will bring you to the full list of available databases provided through McGovern Library. 

Once at the A-Z databases list, select the database you would like to access.  You will be redirected to the off campus login page.  You will be asked to give your DWU credentials (which are the first part of your DWU email address and the password used for your email).  Once logged in, you will be able to search the database as if you were on campus.

What Are Databases?

Defining Databases

In the context of libraries and doing research, the generally accepted definition of a database is "an electronic collection of searchable information on one or more topics."  So, what does this mean?

How to Think About Databases

The easiest way to think about databases is to imagine them as living behind a locked door within the internet.  This means, that went you do a regular internet search (such as searching Google), you won't find and see what is inside.  And it is important to remember, that some of the best information available for academic research is locked behind this door. 

But, you do have access to these materials and resources through the databases provided by the library.   

Why Are These Resources Behind Doors?

Like many things in life, these resources are behind a locked door because of money.  The companies who publish academic journals, magazines, and newspapers (all types of material you will find in these databases) need to make money. The people who digitize the content and create the search platforms need to make money. So they restrict access to the database by making them available through subscriptions.

How to Access Locked Materials

With all of these great materials locked behind closed doors, you might be wondering where that leaves you, and how you can access these materials without spending money. 

The great news is, you can access these locked materials through the library.  The library has purchased subscriptions for various databases utilized by our students and faculty members.  Because of this subscription, you as a student researcher, can access all of the materials within the database (that are usually locked behind closed doors), for free.  

The library holds the key to open up those locked doors and accessing great academic materials.  Rather than going to Google to try to find academic articles, use the library to access these resources. 

Accessing Databases

Accessing the A-Z Database List

The McGovern Library provides access to over 100 databases, many of which are subscription based and are not free to the general public.  To access the library's databases, start a the library homepage and click on the "Databases List" button located in the Quick Links section. 

From the homepage, you will be redirected to the full list of Databases provided through McGovern Library. 

Finding a Database From the A-Z List

If you know the name of the Database you would like to access, you can either type the name of the database into the search bar, or find the database in the A-Z list.  You can also jump to a letter, for example, selecting 'M' to quickly locate the database Mitchell Daily Republic

If you don't have a specific database to search, but want to find a database within a specific subject area, you can limit the databases by subject.  Click on the "All Subjects" dropdown menu and select the desired subject area. 

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