Before you begin searching a database, you will want to figure out whether the database contains the information and resource types (articles, eBooks, streaming media) you need for your research. Take some time to evaluate it.
Consider your research needs when evaluating a database:
- Do you have to use scholarly journal articles? Which databases provide access to those? EBSCO and JSTOR both include scholarly articles.
- Are you writing an argumentative or persuasive essay, or preparing a debate topic? Are you not sure what topic you want to research and would like to browse popular topics? A pro/con, hot topic database might be useful, such as Opposing Viewpoints, CQ Researcher, or Issues & Controversies.
- What time periods are covered? History databases may offer a way to limit your results to specific eras or time periods. Consider African-American History Online, History Reference Center, or Issues & Controversies in History.
- Do you need background information on your topic? Try a reference database such as Credo Reference or Gale eBooks.
- Do you need geographical or statistical information? Consider a database that includes country or cultural information, such as Country Watch, CultureGrams, or Statista.
- Do you want to explore colleges and careers? Check out College Source and Career Guidance Center.
- Are there databases recommended for your major? For example, several databases are recommended for Nursing.
To see a list of all MSJC databases, click the All Databases (A-Z) link on the library website:
You can browse the list and read each database's description, or click on All Subjects or All Database Types to limit your results based on your needs.