Finding Periodical Articles -- General or specialized?
Databases come in many flavors. General databases cover lots of different subject areas and include both general and specialized audience information. Specialty databases focus on more specialized publications in one subject area. You find more specialized information as well as more specialized terms in specialty databases, the "insider lingo," different from the more general-audience publications and terms found in general databases.
Comparing ProQuest Newspapers and CINAHL Plus
- From the library homepage (www.cabrillo.edu/services/library):
- Click on Articles and Databases
- First, under News click on ProQuest National Newspapers Core (a typical collection of newspaper articles)
- Try searching each of these: shin splints compared to medial tibial stress syndrome
- Next, under Health, Medicine & Science, click on CINAHL Plus (a specialized medical database)
- Try the same searches
New Breed of Database: "Discovery" Tools, like SuperSearch
In addition to the usual assortment of subscription databases available from libraries, you will often find a "discovery" tool for searching multiple sources. Our "discovery" tool is called SuperSearch, and lets you search - at the same time - most of our online databases, our library catalog, and several open web resources. You can find SuperSearch under Find on the library home page, as well as on the Articles & Databases page. SuperSearch is a very powerful tool for finding information - but, as with any search tool, it should be used appropriately, and with an understanding of what it does well and what it doesn't.
SuperSearch is most effective:
- When you need both books and articles on a topic
- If your topic covers multiple subject areas, e.g. culture-specific medical practices
- For very specialized topics (these tools often search the text of e-books, not just their titles)
SuperSearch is not so effective:
- If your topic is covered primarily in news sources (our main newspaper databases are not included)
- If you're easily overwhelmed by having too many sources from too many different places