The library's databases are different from your favorite internet search engine. They allow you to search and access content that search engines like Google can't, and typically require a paid subscription. Riley-Hickingbotham Library provides access to a multitude of databases, allowing all OBU students access to hundreds of thousands of high-quality resources to help you research.
You can search these databases anytime and anywhere by accessing them through the Library's Web site. These resources work a little different than typical search engines, but with a little practice, you'll find they are much more powerful and helpful for finding scholarly content. This guide will teach you how to search databases effectively, allowing you to research more efficiently.
Databases are similar to search engines, but instead of taking you to freely available websites that could be published by anyone (including people who may not know what they are talking about), our library's databases give you access to hundreds of thousands of articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers. Most of these are not available freely on the internet...their publishers require readers to subscribe. The databases themselves are not free, either. In fact, the library spends thousands of dollars in subscription fees every year to give students, faculty, and staff access to these high-quality information resources. We are not paying for the entire world to access them, however, which is why you need to be logged into campus to access library databases.
One thing to keep in mind is that databases are not all created equally.
Although databases often look different, functionally they are very similar, so learning to use one database will equip you with the skills you’ll need to search successfully in other databases as well.
The library subscribes to dozens of individual databases, to ensure that you can find information and resources on a wide range of topics. To see all of our databases, visit the A-Z Databases page on the library's website. You can learn a little more about each database and sort them by subject or vendor (the company that produces it).
Not sure which database is best for you?
You can always ask a librarian for a recommendation as well!
See Database Search Tips for effective search techniques.
Explore these tutorials to learn best practices for searching individual databases.