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  • Hampton: (757) 825-2877 | Historic Triangle: (757) 258-6500
  • Frequently Used Databases

    Scholarly vs Popular



    Popular (Magazines)


    Report results of research

    Report current events


    Summarize research of general interest


    Scholars, researchers and students in a particular field of study

    General population


    Researchers, Experts in field


    Credentials given


    Often unnamed

    Credentials not given


    Long articles (5+ pages)

    No advertisements


    Technical or specialized language

    Peer reviewed


    Short articles

    Pictures and advertisements

    No citations

    Every day language

    Not peer reviewed

    Give It a Shot

    Google Scholar

    What is a Library Database?

    What is a library database?

    A library database is an online resource that the library subscribes to that contains articles and information from print sources such as magazines, newspapers, journals, and reference books. 

    Most of our databases are article databases. 

    An article database enables you to search through thousands (sometimes millions) of different magazines, journals and newspapers to find articles on a particular topic. Some of the articles you will find are Full Text, which means you can read (or print out) the entire article right there online. Other times the database will only provide you with an abstract, or summary of the article. Other times, the database will only give you a citation, which tells you where you can find a print version of the article.

    Databases are not "internet" sources

    Although you access our databases from the internet, the articles you find in them are reprinted from real live print sources. Most of the things you find in our database cannot be found by searching Google or Wikipedia. These are subscription services that the library pays for. They are every bit a part of our library's collection as the books on our shelf, and unless you want to buy your own subscription, you must go through the library's website to access them.

    What is Google Scholar?

    What is Google Scholar?

    Google Scholar is a search engine that specifically searches scholarly literature and academic resources.

    How is Google Scholar related to (and different from) the library databases?

    There is overlap between the content in Google Scholar and the library's individual databases. Also, many citations in Google Scholar will link to full text in the library's databases or in publicly available databases. But Google Scholar will not contain everything that is in the library's databases.

    Google Scholar is useful as a jumping off point for your research, but to do in-depth research, you'll need to use a subject specific database provided by the library. If you are not sure which resource to use, use our databases by subject list or take a look at a research guide on your topic.

    And, as always, TNCC Reference Librarians are ready to help you with your research needs!  Contact the Reference Department at or call 757-825-2877 for assistance.