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Guide to Science Information Resources: Reading a Database Record

Definitions: Parts of a Database Record

A database will provide a list of results for a search.  A link for a given article will typically provide the full view of its database record and include the following information:

Name of Database:  the brand name of an information source; it often includes the name of the company that owns or offers the service.

Citation:  information about a document that usually includes its author, title of work, publisher, and year published.  The information found in a citation is used by others to locate the document. This if frequently referred to as bibliographic information.

Abstract:  a summary of the main points of a document which includes its focus, research methods, and conclusions.

Full Text:  this link indicates that direct, full access to a document is available.

Link Resolver:  a tool that uses information in a database record to find related records and to provide links for the user.  It generally leads users to another source that may provide full access to a complete document.  The effectiveness of these tools depends on if access can be provided through another information source to which the library has access.

Subject:  the words used by a database to describe the main topics of a document.

Controlled Vocabulary:  an established set of terms used to describe the main subjects covered in a document.  They are often used to identify documents on similar topics.

Additional Information:  databases often include specialized metadata to provide more information on a given document, such as the type of publication, affiliation of author, database document numbers, and others.

Parts of a Database Record

SciTech Premium Collection (ProQuest)
Full Record of an Item

Example of a Full Record in a Database