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Library Tutorial: Finding Articles

This guide is an information literacy tutorial for Spoon River College students.

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. 




Most of the library services databases are provided by EBSCOhost. They provide different subject databases to libraries worldwide for a subscription price. 

You will generally see an opening page similar to the photo below. Our most popular database is Academic Search Complete, it has over 8,500 full text journals in many areas of academic study.   

image of EBSCO search fields


For more information with tips on searching go to the Searching Databases guide

Library Terminology

Abstract - Summary of an article or a book.

Database - A large collection of data or information organized into individual records to be searched by a computer.

Full Text - The entire article or book in a database is available for viewing.

Journal - A periodical published by an institution or professional society. It is more scholarly than a magazine found at a local newsstand.

Peer-Reviewed - When scholars want to share their research, they seek to publish in scholarly journals. In order to publish in these journals, their work must be evaluated by experts in the field for accuracy, hence the term "peer review."

Periodical - Journals, magazines, and newspapers which are published at regular intervals.