If you have never used online databases for information searching, it may seem confusing or intimidating at first. Please use the help on this page to get started. Then click the "ARC/Student Online Research Tools" link at left to access Gale. You'll soon be an expert online researcher!
What are online databases? Many of your classes require you to do "research" - that is to find information about something. One of the quickest and easiest ways to do research is to find articles from "periodicals." "Periodicals" is the term used by schools and libraries for magazines, journals, and newspapers. Articles are usually short, easy to find, and current. A popular way to find articles is to search for them using online databases.
A database is a collection of stored information that can be accessed by a computer. Databases can organize words, numbers, images, or sound. They may also be multimedia collections combining the various classes of data. Because most databases rely on edited sources of information, the user generally finds that the information in databases is reliable and specific to the topics being researched. When using a database that is accessed through electronic means (like by using a computer), the various techniques of searching, such as keyword, can generally be used to help you refine your search and get the results you need. Databases provide a more efficient way to get to relevant information.
What are the Gale databases and what can they do for you? One company that provides online databases is the Gale Company. Gale databases are collections of articles from periodicals and the articles in them are just as they were published except that you can get to them online. Since they are online, they can be used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from any location with Internet access.
Why do database companies like Gale offer different databases? Many of the different databases are focused on one subject or idea. For example, the Gale Health & Wellness Resource Center database has articles about nursing, medications, therapies, new drugs, etc.
When you use a collection of databases in a service like Gale, one of the first things you will need to do is select which databases within that collection you want to search. Searching within one specific database will narrow your results. To expand your results, search in many or all of the databases at the same time. For Gale products, that option is called PowerSearch.