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Searching Databases: Home

Searching scholarly databases can be confusing at first, this guide will instruct you through the process of learning a new skill.

What is a database?

            Question mark        What is a database?

It is an organized collection of information that allows a user to search for a particular topic, article, or book. You can search for these in a variety of ways, for example, with keywords, subject, author, or title.

Information found through internet search engines such as Google are free, but the best information is costly. Library subscriptions are purchased because these databases contain scholarly peer-reviewed articles in periodicals (magazines). SRC library services pay a fee to database providers in order to access these licensed collections. 


Accessing Databases from Off Campus

Access is available to students on all SRC campuses and from off campus with your library card number found on the back of your student ID card. When prompted for this number be sure to use a capital D and your digits with no spaces in between, for example D8692xxxxx.

Students can obtain their SRC ID card at the following sites:
* Canton: LRC – 2nd Floor Centers Building
* Macomb: LRC - 2nd Floor
* Havana: Front Desk
* Rushville: Front Desk

Online students: if you have not been on campus to obtain your student ID card, open this link, fill out the form, and we will send a library card to you. 



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Jeannette Glover
Russell Learning Resource Center
23235 N. County Highway 22
Canton, IL 61520
(309) 649-6603

Creator Attribution

Created by Marla Turgeon

Reliability of Sources

Reliability of Sources

There is a difference between articles in a peer-reviewed/scholarly journal and an article in a popular magazine. Journal articles go through a lengthy review process by other experts in that subject area. Whereas the popular magazine article is generally the opinion of the writer, approval is only done by a general editor, and bears very little factual evidence to defend their claims.


To determine if an online journal article is scholarly look for these characteristics:

• the article follows a specific format with an abstract, literature review, methodology, results, and a conclusion

• the research method is explained

• the article has a works cited section

• the article has tables and graphs to support the research

• the author(s) are identified 

Trustworthy Sources


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