Databases are organized collections of related information. Every database contains only certain types and amounts of information such as:
Note for INFO 1010:
For the purpose of grading consistency, all the assignments in INFO 1010 use Academic Search Ultimate. This is an example of a general database that has a little bit of everything, so there should be something for all. For your ENGL 2010 papers, you might want to check out other subject-specific databases (see the "Subject Databases" tab in the next section for more). These databases are carefully curated collections that can help you find the sources you need to complete your INFO 1010 assignments, as well as your ENGL 2010 paper. Ask your INFO 1010 instructor about subject-specific databases that relate to your paper topic if you'd like to try one out.
If your topic is something that needs more than a general database such as Academic Search Ultimate or Google Scholar can give you, it is best to use a subject specific database. These databases focus on specific topics and will have more journals devoted to their topics, giving you more information than you would get from a general database, that has a little bit on every topic.
To get to the subject specific databases, you start from the Library's Homepage to get to the A-Z list of Databases, just like you would to get to Academic Search Ultimate. The difference is that you want limit to a specific subject from the All Subjects list. This will give you the options of databases that are focused on your subject.
The example below is the list of Nursing databases, chosen from the list of subjects.
You might notice that Academic Search Ultimate is still one of the options, because it does cover this topic a bit. It will usually give it's best guess as to which databases would be the most helpful, if you do have a specifically nursing topic. However, if you chose the subject of nursing since it was the closes to your general health science question, those best bests might not be the best for you.
There will usually be a subject guide on the left side, where the librarian over the subject has put together tips and tools to help your research within the subject easier. It's a good idea to check those out.
Using a subject specific database is no different then using a general one. The biggest difference will be how many results you will get within that subject. Most of the SUU databases will be EBSCO, and so will look EXACTLY like Academic Search Ultimate. Others will look different, but will have the same basic features: a search bar, Boolean operators, and limiter options.
The searching and limiter options might be called different things, but once you start using them, it is generally easy to find the equivalent features and to use them in the same way.