Database Glossary of Terms

Content section: 

Resource Types

  • Archival Collections and Primary Source Databases

    Included here are indexes to primary documents (e.g., Index to 19th Century American Art Periodicals), databases or collections of documents (e.g. American Civil War: Letters and Diaries), lists of archival collections or libraries (e.g. Archives USA). Also included are the websites for archival collections, museums or libraries if those websites provide access to actual content (e.g. James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center).

    If the resource listed provides access to the actual document (rather than just a reference to a document), it will be designated as "Full text" or there will be a further designation under "Image/Sound type" (e.g. Still, Moving, etc.)

    A single title that provides a significant run of unique, high quality content not available through any other database will be included in here. Examples of this include: The Nation Digital Archive, HarpWeek and the Pennsylvania Gazette.

  • Article Databases

    Included here are indexes to articles published in journals and magazines. Indexes to newspapers are not generally listed here unless magazines are also indexed by the database. Indexes to single titles are not generally listed here unless the title is generally accepted by the professional community to be "reference-like" (e.g. CQ Weekly).

    Book chapters, proceedings, patents, government documents, dissertations, etc. may be indexed in some resources but the main focus must be on articles.

    Databases of research reports (e.g. Datamonitor's Business Information Center) are listed under Article Databases.

    Journal "platforms" that provide portals to journals produced by one publisher (e.g. ScienceDirect, Blackwell Synergy) will not generally be included. If the platform is popular and/or commonly used by patrons to access articles (e.g. JSTOR, ProjectMUSE), it will be included. If the platform/publisher covers a specfic discipline or subject area, then it will also be listed (e.g. IEEE Xplore which covers a large percentage of the engineering literature).

    Single titles (e.g. The Nation Digital Archive, HarpWeek) are not listed under Article Databases. See Archival Collections and Primary Source Databases.

  • Atlases, Maps and Gazetteers

    Included here are atlases, collections of maps, aerial photos and other cartographic resources. They may be thematic or subject oriented (e.g. oil reserves worldwide) or political (e.g. borders, cities, etc). Also included are gazetteers (defined as geographic dictionaries) and other resources that provide geographic information (e.g. CIA World Factbook).

  • Biographical Sources

    Included here are databases that provide biographical information about people; the resources may provide full text articles or citations to print or microform sources that may or may not be in the UCB collection.

    Providing biographical information must be the primary intent of the resources listed in this category.

  • Book and Film Review Databases

    Included here are databases and resources that provide full text articles or citations to print or microform sources that may or may not be in the UCB collection. Sources that are not primarily focused on providing reviews may also be included. i.e. Global Books In Print.

    Certain single titles which include book reviews such as the New York Times Book Review, New York Review of Books, because they are very much "reference-like," are included here.

    Providing reviews must be the primary intent of the resources listed in this category. This means that other resources such as Expanded Academic ASAP which provide references to many reviews will not be listed here.

  • Book and Text Collections (electronic)

    Included here are collections of books (e-books) or texts including fiction, essays, poems, drama. No individual titles or collections by individual authors unless they are "significant" (e.g. The Bible, Shakespeare, etc.). Also included here are ebooks that are part of a subject collection (e.g. Oxford Scholarship Online - Political Sciences and Philosophy). In all cases these resources must be full-text searchable.

  • Dictionaries, Thesauri and Quotations

    Included here are general and subject-specific dictionaries and a select number of English/foreign language bilingual dictionaries, thesauri, dictionaries of quotations and acronym lists. Not included here are Internet-based translations services, however, there are a limited number of selected web portals of dictionary sites.

  • Directories

    Included here are listings of contact information for organizations, companies, educational institutions and careers, and publishers.

    Resources in Directories may be part of a resource providing another type of service or information. For example, Science Next Wave is an electronic journal but includes a directory for job-seekers.

    A web page or site listing other web sites is not a directory. It must provide contact information, phone numbers, addresses, (or email addresses) for the organization.

  • Dissertation and Thesis Databases

    Included here are resources that list masters theses and doctoral dissertations. Some resources are geographically specific (e.g. Index to Theses [in the UK]), specific to an institution or department (UCB-UCSF Joint Medical Program Thesis Index), or subject specific.

    Some databases include the full-text or information on how to acquire the actual dissertation. Most include an abstract..

    Providing references to dissertations and theses must be the primary intent of the resources listed in this category. Many article databases list references to dissertations but they will not be listed in this category.

  • Encyclopedias and Almanacs

    Included here are subject specific encyclopedias (Encyclopedia of Insects). Almanacs are, by definition, general. Also included are collections of print equivalent reference sources.

  • Government Information Sources - California/Regional

    Included here are resources that provide access to information by and about California and/or regional governments.

    As a general rule, government agencies are not listed here unless the agency provides access to a significant number of documents.

    Most resources that are listed as a Government Information Source will be cross-listed with other resource types such as Statistical and Numeric Data, Atlases, Maps and Gazetteers, etc.

  • Government Information Sources - Federal/US

    Included here are resources that provide access to information by and about the federal and/or US government.

    As a general rule, government agencies are not listed here unless the agency provides access to a significant number of documents (e.g. Supreme Court).

    Most resources that are listed as a Government Information Source will be cross-listed with other resource types such as Statistical and Numeric Data, Atlases, Maps and Gazetteers, etc.

  • Government Information Sources - Foreign/International

    Included here are resources that provide access to government information by and about individual foreign countries (e.g. allAfrica.com), the global community collectively (e.g., EIU Country Reports), and international bodies (e.g. AccessUN).

    As a general rule, government agencies are not listed here unless the agency provides access to a significant number of documents.

    Most resources that are listed as a Government Information Source will be cross-listed with other resource types such as Statistical and Numeric Data, Atlases, Maps and Gazetteers, etc.

  • Handbooks and Manuals

    Included here are tools designed to help practitioners in a specific field of study. Handbooks and manuals provide ready reference to information in a standardized format, like chemical properties of organic compounds, etc.

    One important difference between this type and encyclopedias is the domain knowledge required in order to use this information.

  • Image and Sound Databases

    Included here are image and sound databases which provide access to works of art, news and film archives, cultural artifacts, design collections, advertising, historical broadcasts, manuscripts and photographs.

  • Laws and Regulations

    Included here are listings or full text of laws, ordinances, regulations, rulings by regulatory agencies, and decision by appellate courts.

    Also included are collection of indexes are resources that cover law journals and law reviews. These indexes can be used to trace the historical development of laws and regulations. Also included are resources that index case law and judicial opinions.

  • Library Catalogs and Publication Lists

    Included here are two general types of bibliographic tools: 1) library catalogs (e.g. Melvyl and WorldCat) which can be used to look up holdings of selected libraries and, 2) publishing lists or purchasing tools (e.g. Global Books in Print, Ulrich's Periodical Directory) which can be used to identify published materials such as books, journals, films, musical scores, etc.

  • News Databases

    Included here are resources that provide references, abstracts and/or full text to articles in newspapers and news magazines, broadcast news transcripts or wire service articles. Resources are, in general, English-language sources. Individual news sites (e.g. CNN.com or SFGate) are not included here, however, there are a limited number of selected web portals of news sites.

    Some exceptions might be made if the site to the single news source is deemed to be particularly critical to a subject area or somehow related to UC (hosted on a UC site).

  • Statistics and Numeric Data

    Included here are resources that provide tables of numeric data, demographic information, (or listings of where such information can be found - e.g. Social Science Data Archive), statistics, public opinion polls and box office figures.

Other Terms

  • UCB access only

    Article databases and other commercial databases, or other electronic resources licensed for use at UC Berkeley, are available from public workstations in a UC Berkeley library, and remotely to currently enrolled students, faculty and staff. For remote access information, see Connect from Off Campus.

  • UC-eLinks

    UC-eLinks provides a way to easily move from an article or book citation to the electronic version of the item; to check to see if the item is available at UC Berkeley or to Request items not available at UC Berkeley.

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