For graduate school research, peer-reviewed journal articles are ideal for gathering, developing, and citing ideas in your work. Scholarly literature is written by researchers who are experts in their fields. Although some journal articles and databases are freely available on the web, most academic publishers require payment for their articles, journals, and e-books. The best place to locate scholarly/peer-reviewed articles is UMGC's library research databases, which are purchased by UMGC so that you will have access to scholarly resources that would not otherwise be available to you for free online. Finding the highest-quality sources is the expectation in graduate school, and will ultimately earn you better grades in your courses.
What Are Research Databases?
An electronic database is an organized collection of information, data, or citations, and is meant to be searched for records that contain information about a source, and usually a link to the full text of a source. Having access to research databases is like having access to thousands of journals, and hundreds of thousands of journal articles.
Each entry or citation in a database is called a record. Each record has a variety of different fields, such as
- article title
- article author
- journal or magazine title
- publication date
- subject headings/descriptors
Some databases also include other fields (e.g., language, intended audience, document type, methodology, and so on).
The video below shows a typical record in a library database, and how to read the information.
The UMGC Library Research Database Collection
UMGC subscribes to many research databases, covering a wide variety of subjects. These databases index information from a variety of sources, including
- statistical and financial data
- electronic and print books
UMGC's library research databases contain a wealth of resources, including scholarly (refereed or peer-reviewed) publications, professional literature, analytical articles, directory and statistical information, book chapters, essays, etc., typical of the wide variety of information available in an academic library. Most of the databases contain the full text of articles.
Access to the Library Research Databases
Access to the databases is available to all currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff at UMGC. Most of the information included in these databases is not freely available.
The databases are organized alphabetically by title and by topic or subject area on the library home page. The databases can be searched individually, or cross-searched (multiple databases at once) via UMGC Library OneSearch.
For more information on searching library databases, see the UMGC Library Get Help page.