Answered By: Priscilla Coulter
Last Updated: Jun 05, 2018     Views: 1574

First, it's important to understand what a "library database" really is!  Databases are subscription search engines that are specialized for college-level research.  Unlike Google or Yahoo, they are not freely available.  The library pays for APUS students to access them (which is why you must be logged into campus to search).  Click here to read more.

Why do we need so many?

Each database is unique, both in terms of what's inside it and how it looks.   Librarians are most concerned with what's inside them -- our goal is  to make sure we have plenty of articles, journals, books, etc. to support each class at APUS.  Unfortunately, there is no single database that can get the job done.  So, we carefully purchase a variety of databases to ensure that we have the topic coverage that our students need. 

Does that mean that we have access to every single journal or book in existence?  No...there isn't a library out there that can claim that.  But, with more than 240,000 ebooks, 65,000 periodicals, and over 100 individual online databases, our library has a lot to offer you.


How to avoid getting lost.

Since different databases are designed by different vendors, they'll often have a completely different look and feel (in addition to searching different articles, etc.).  Switching from database to database can initially be disorienting and confusing.  But, as with any website, you will learn your way around with practice! 

compass icon   Try SummonIt searches many of our databases at once.
compass icon   Learn which databases are most relevant for your major or course.  Find the library's research guide for your major.   Click the "Articles/Journals" tab to see the suggested databases.  These are the databases that you'll be using throughout your academic career -- soon you'll know them like the back of your hand!
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Find a database tutorial.  Click here for links to database-specific tutorials.  Our librarians have also created general search tutorials...take a moment to explore! 

compass icon Ask a librarian for help We will be happy to point you in the right direction.


A note about database personal accounts:  you'll notice that some databases (those from ProQuest and EBSCO , for example), allow you to create/sign in to a personal account.  You do not have to do this in order to search the databases.  But, personal accounts will allow you to save articles or books for later, make notes, highlight text, etc., within that database.  Just remember that this account will be separate from your APUS log in -- keep track of the username and password that you create for each database!

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