Databases (and Why You Should Use Them)

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Databases are collections of full text articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers, as well as all kinds of other things. The information they contain are considered authoritative (written by authorities in the subject) and credible (in this case, accurate). That is not always the case on the internet (see Lake Michigan Whale Watching). The information in a database is not generally available by searching on the internet. At FHS we have access to a lot of databases through MeL, the Michigan eLibrary. The state of Michigan has paid for the use of the databases, and they are available free-of-charge to any resident of Michigan. At school, just head to MeL; at home you will probably have to enter your name and driver’s license number or your local library card number.

MeLTeens has already grouped the most useful databases for high school students. Below you’ll find descriptions of some of them, and direct links. **Note: sometimes the direct links from MeL break. If a link doesn’t work, go to MeL first, then choose the database. An * shows the database is part of MeL.

General Databases


*Academic OneFile Full text from the world’s leading journals and reference sources, covering the physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, literature, and more.


*Britannica School — High School code is mel5. Primary sources for quick facts and in-depth information on history, geography, people, places, science, and much more.


*Gale Virtual Reference Library General interest, full text, of encyclopedias and specialized reference books.


*General OneFile Mostly full text. One-stop source for news and periodical articles on a wide range of topics: business, computers, current events, economics, education, environmental issues, health care, hobbies, humanities, law, literature and art, politics, science, social sciences, sports, technology, and many general interest topics. Updated daily.


*General Reference Center Gold Mostly full text. Information from a variety of sources - newspapers, reference books, magazines, and trade publications. Find articles on current events, popular culture, business and industry trends, the arts and sciences, sports, hobbies, and more. Updated daily.


*InfoTrac Student Edition Mostly full text. Updated daily. Over 1,300 titles cross searchable with eBooks. Gives access to a variety of indexed and full-text magazines, newspapers, podcasts, and reference books for information on current events, the arts, science, popular culture, health, people, government, history, sports, and more.


*Research in Context Information on the most-studied topics for middle school, but may be useful for high school students. Information from authoritative sources including Gale, National Geographic, Scholastic, and more.

Social Sciences Databases


Background Notes Information on the relationship between the United States and every nation in the world; ambassadors, embassy addresses, and more.


CIA World Factbook Information on every country in the world. Has the ability to compare all kinds of information between countries; for example, looking at the GDP of countries, or infant mortality rate.


*Psychology Collection Information on psychology, the study of the mind, emotions, and how the mind develops. Articles are drawn from Academic OneFile and General OneFile


*Opposing Viewpoints in Context Need to write an argumentative essay or prepare for a debate? This is the database for you. Full-text information and opinions on hundreds of today’s hottest social issues. Continuously updated.


*FDSys (Federal Digital System from the US Government Publishing Office) Access free materials from the US Government, including Congressional, Presidential, and Federal agency materials. Search, browse, and download documents and publications.

Science and Health Databases


Sparticl A collection of the very best the web has to offer in science, technology, engineering, and math or STEM.


*Health and Wellness Resource Center Provides instant access to carefully compiled and trusted medical reference materials.


*Medline Plus Covers all areas of medicine. Learn about the latest treatments, view medical videos or illustrations, etc.


*Nursing Resource Center Mostly full-text. Brings together disease, drug overviews, care plans, anatomy and physiology, and more.

© 2016-2018 Michael A. Grimm. Images of books are copyrighted and held by their respective owners. They are used here strictly for promotional use.