Answered By Library Staff
Last Updated: Apr 12, 2024     Views: 18


A library database is a set of digital records that hold information about things like journal articles, books, videos, etc. When you enter search terms into the database search box, the database will pull up records that contain those terms. Some of the records will include links to electronic copies of the item described in the record. This can sometimes means it offers "full-text" access, rather than just the indexing or metadata about an item. 

The Tulsa Community College Library subscribes to over 130 individual databases. Some of those are just indexing databases, but typically when a library pays for a database it's for one that offers more than just indexing. Within our main databases, you have access to magazine, newspaper, and journal articles without having to pay extra for them. Each database contains records from different publications, so if you can't find something you need in one database, you might find it in another one. One database might have a few years of coverage for, say, a magazine, while another has the rest. The Discovery catalog searches a lot of our databases all at once, but you can find our databases by clicking the "Articles and Databases" link on the library home page, or by clicking here


To learn more about what a catalog is and how to search, see this FAQ. 

The Discovery catalog search is technically a database search, but since it pulls information from some different sources, it's called a "federated search." Our Discovery search is the search box on the library's main page. When you enter your search terms in that box, it searches for books, videos, e-books, journals, articles, etc. that are held in libraries around the world, and also tells you if those items are held at Tulsa Community College. If the item is held by TCC, the record will give you location information, such as the campus location and the call number. If the item is digital, it will provide a link for you to access it online. The Discovery search also searches a sampling of our databases for articles relating to your search terms. However, it does not search all of our databases, only some of the more commonly used databases are included in the default settings of a Discovery search. For example, it does not search the Facts on File databases, which you will have to find here.

If you would like to learn more about refining your searches in the databases, or customizing a discovery search, students can schedule a research consultation with one of our librarians by clicking the "Schedule a Research Consultation" link on the library home page, or by clicking here.