Answered By: APUS Librarians
Last Updated: Jan 25, 2017     Views: 283

According to the Cambridge Dictionary of English, a basic definition of the word "website" is "a ​place on the ​Internet with one or more ​pages of ​information about a ​subject." 

Of course, in modern libraries, most articles and books are offered in electronic format -- via online databases.  They're definitely "on the Internet, with one or more pages of information about a subject"!   So, are the APUS Library's databases "websites," and each article or ebook a "web page"?  Technically, yes! 

But, in academic research, when we say "website" or "web page" -- we're usually talking about the "open web" -- sites that do not require a subscription fee to use them.  These are the kinds of pages that you can find with Google or another search engine.   Some of these may be a good fit for a research assignment in your class.  Others will not.  Click here for open web search tips.

A library's online databases, and the articles and ebooks inside them, are not free to just anyone. And, they typically aren't searched by Google or other Internet search engines -- you have to access them via a subscribing library (they're sometimes called the "deep web" or "hidden web" as a result).   Each database in our library is geared toward scholarly content, and each is purchased to support students in the various degree programs at APUS.

If you want to take a closer look at how the library's databases are different from what you can find via Google, etc., click here.

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