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Research and the Library: Using Resources WISely

This tutorial and module will guide you through the process of library research.

What is a Database?

A database is an electronic, organized list of information that is searchable and retrievable. Willet Library subscribes to hundreds of databases, many of which are in Galileo. You can access them all through our Databases A-Z list.  Library Databases can be used to find scholarly and non-scholarly articles and other media. These databases contain abstracts, index information, and full-text articles. When you're searching a library database, you are not searching "the web."

In addition to library databases, there are millions of commonly found databases. You probably use many of them daily. Databases can be multi-discipline or subject specific. Multi-discipline databases contain information from a wide variety of sources and topics. Subject specific databases are more narrow and usually only contain one specific subject matter. You will learn more about subject specific databases later. Below are some examples of both library and general use multi-discipline databases.

Library Databases including Research Library, JSTOR, and Academic Search Complete vs. Web Databases like Netflix, Amazon, and Google

Library Databases

GALILEO, JSTOR, ArtStor, Films on Demand....discovery search in Galileo does not search all providers and databases within Galileo.

Don't forget you can still borrow articles through ILL.

  • Each database has available limiters to narrow your results down to the most relevant resources.  You can limit by date, peer-reviewed, subject, publisher, journal, language, and many other options.
  • After finding a relevant article the citation mining tools will help you find articles on similar topics.  You can quickly get a list of articles in that database that have cited or are cited by a particular article.
  • Print, email, save, and see citations * for any article. *These citations may contain errors. Make sure you check your citation before turning in your work. 

EbscoHost and ProQuest are two of the main database providers in Galileo. They provide access to hundreds of databases and while their logos appear on your search pages, this will not allow you to retrace your steps. You need to know what database you used.

About GALILEO and Library Databases

GALILEO describes itself as “an online library portal to authoritative, subscription-only information.” Through partnering with other libraries in Georgia and the GALILEO team, Wesleyan is able to provide access to hundreds of databases from several different providers.

GALILEO: Georgia's Virtual Library with Logo of Earth

EbscoHost and ProQuest are two of the main database providers in GALILEO. They provide access to hundreds of individual databases, and while their logos appear on your search pages, this will not allow you to retrace your steps. You need to know what specific database you used.

Screenshot. Arrow pointing at ProQuest explaining ProQuest is the database provider; another arrow pointing at Psychology Database with explanation that Psychology Database is the name of the database.

Screenshot. Arrow pointing to EBSCOhost with explanation that EBSCOhost is the database provider; second arrow pointing to Psychology and Behavioral Science Collection with explanation that PBSC is the name of the database.

Other databases available through our partnership with GALILEO include JSTOR, which covers a variety of subjects; ARTSTOR, containing over a million high quality images of artwork; and Films on Demand, where you can find documentaries and films to support projects in any subject.

When you visit GALILEO, you will see a search bar intended to search across many of the databases. However, this GALILEO-wide search can bring back too many results to be useful and actually does not include any results from some of the top databases due to provider restrictions.

Searching individual databases is more effective not only because you are searching through a targeted set of resources that focus on your area of interest, but also because you can take advantage of specialized vocabulary and tools within the database.  For instance, a search for transcription in a science focused database will bring back results about copying DNA, while a search for the same term across all databases would be cluttered with resources about closed captioning. You will learn more about controlled vocabularies in the next module.

Accessing Library Databases & Resources

If you are using Library Resources on Wesleyan's Campus, you will be recognized as an authorized user and will not have to complete the sign in process for all resources.

If you begin from GALILEO, Wesleyan College's Databases A-Z, or follow a "view full text" link from LUCY while
off-campus, you will see the following log in page. Use your Wesportal username and password for access.

Wesleyan College Single Sign On Page prompts users to enter email address or username and password.

In most instances, you will remain logged in for 8 hours. If you switch browsers or devices, you'll have to log in again. Refer to the Password Management Handouts on the Portal for assistance with your Wesportal Credentials.

If you previously saved your password and have since changed it or if you mistype your password the first time, you may encounter an error. Try clearing the cache, switching browsers, or using the handout below to troubleshoot issues.

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