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?
- 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.
- Databases help students find information easier and faster than using the web
- Databases are updated frequently (some are daily updated).
- Database articles provide the MLA citation that you need to complete a source card and Works Cited page for your research project.
- 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:
- Go to the MVHS website.
- Find/click on ACADEMICS heading at the top of the page. Scroll down/click on This will take you to the Library Home Page.
- On the left-hand side, find/click on DATABASES.
- Choose the suggested databases for this project.
(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.