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Using Databases: Types of Databases

This guide will introduce you to the library Databases at WIU. You will find out what we subscribe to and where they are located. It is intended to provide information for scholarly research and to supplement classroom learning.

What Kind of Databases Are There

Some databases, like Academic Search Complete and InfoTrac Expanded Academic are general databases. This means they cover many different subject areas, kind of like how Walmart has many different types of products but they don't specialize in one area. Other databases are specialized, like a sporting goods store. These databases have specific types of content.

  • ABI/INFORM contains content about business.
  • ERIC has only material relating to education.
  • PsychINFO is the premier research tool for the field of psychology.

There are also reference databases which include things like the Oxford English Dictionary Online. Here is a slide show of specialized databases found here at WIU:

Government Information

Government and Political Resources 

The General Databases

These databases have content on a wide range of topics from psychology to history to communications and sociology.Click the links to see the general databases below:

Subject Databases

If you have to write about a particular topic or subject. You can look for databases in just that area. From the Articles / Databases tab or from the Databases page select the subject area you want and click go. This will bring up a list of databases specialized for that field.

For example, if you need research and  business information related to the field of accounting, you can focus your searching by using the subject databases.