Part II: Perform search

II.2.1 What does a research offer?

Benefits and advantages of bibliographic specialist databases for research (reference databases):

  • They provide comprehensive information on the literature published in a particular subject area. This is done independently of the stocks of individual libraries. Literature production is determined and indexed.
  • As a rule, both independently published literature (books) and non-independently literature (journal articles, book chapters) is listed.
  • The literature is usually indexed in-depth, e.g. via abstracts and subjects headings which are linked and thus form a good basis for further thematic searches (example for abstract).
  • The subject headings used are standardised and recorded in a thesaurus with their relationships to generic terms, subterms and related terms (example for thesaurus).
  • General: They offer comprehensive search options.

Additional services:

  • Many reference databases allow access to electronic full texts or links to library catalogues via link resolver and subsequent availability searches.
  • Some bibliographic databases offer interfaces to reference management programs.
  • In some cases there are also so-called alerting services (also: search alarm, monitoring etc.): Once you have left your individual search profile, the database will inform you whenever there are new entries matching your profile.

Search options and display formats are similar to those described for the library catalogues.

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