• Datbase and Website Use
    What is a database?

    It is a large collection of information (articles from newspapers, magazines, journals, websites, pictures, transcripts, multimedia clips) that is organized (usually by topic) and provided electronically to subscribers (ex. Schools).

    Why do teachers/librarians recommend using databases?

    1. Databases are trustworthy sites.  Someone has spent time filtering out unnecessary information and advertisements so you can concentrate and find articles for your specific research.
    2. Databases help students find information easier and faster than using the web
    3. Databases are updated frequently (some are daily updated).
    4. Database articles provide the MLA citation that you need to complete a source card and Works Cited page for your research project.
    5. Databases are a great source for pictures with the MLA citation provided. Check for pictures on a database first before going to Google images, so you won’t have to worry about copyright infringement.

    How to Access the MVHS Databases on your device:

    1. Go to the MVHS website.
    2. Find/click on ACADEMICS heading at the top of the page.  Scroll down/click on    This will take you to the Library Home Page.
    3. On the left-hand side, find/click on DATABASES.
    4. Choose the suggested databases for this project.


    Website Credibility
    (Adapted from Spar Tech: The WSHS Faculty Technology Newsletter, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 1998/ Jennifer Beach & Tricia Kettler of Fairfax County Public Schools.

    Below are some tips on how to evaluate an internet site for merit and usefulness.  Because anyone can post a web site on any topic, regardless of accuracy or quality, it is important to be a critical reader of this material, especially when researching for class assignments.

    • Address – Internet URL’s (addresses) generally have one of the following endings:
      .edu (educational institutions)
      .gov or .mil (U.S. government / military)
      .com (commercial/profit site)
      .net or .org (a professional/trade/business organization)
      Also look for the ~ symbol, which means an individual is linking his/her information to a credible website. (The information may be good or questionable)
    • Last Update – most good sites frequently update
    • Links – this is a warning sign to you if the links no longer work/URL’s have changed
    • Errors – grammatical, typographical, and factual errors should be avoided
    • Excessive Graphics – may take too long to load; have limited usefulness. Should be simple and enhance the site rather than replace good, scholarly information.
    • Bias/Perspective – This does not disqualify using the site. Just be aware it is one-sided. You should check out a site on the other point of view for fairness and balance.  Always strive to find both sides of an issue – best websites offer both.
    • Credentials/email of the author of site – If an author lists his/her credentials or contact information, this is a good sign. Check “About Us” or Google the author’s name to verify credentials.