Using Databases

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Here’s a quick lesson on database structure:

Databases are made of records. Each record is made of fields. The next screen explains this in more detail.

Database Structure:

  • A Database is made up of RECORDS.
    Each record is unique.  This means that each record represents exactly one article, book, or video, etc.
  • Each record contains standardized FIELDS into which information is entered.
    For example, there is a title field, subject field, author field, etc.
  • Fields are made up of WORDS.

The words you tell the computer to look for have to match with the words used in the field. For example, if the word in the subject field is "adolescent" and you use "youth" or "teenager," your search won't retrieve that record.  The words are clearly similar, but the database does not recognize their meaning.

 The records of a database are divided this way to allow the user to conduct specific searches. For example, if you know the author of an article but don't remember the title, perform a search of the author field to retrieve all records that list that author's name.

 Example of a database record.

 

Tip

Your search words must match the words used in the database record. Consider using words that describe the same thing - blossom or flower as well various spelling: behavior or behaviour

 
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