A database provides a way of organizing information so that you can easily find what you are looking for. Some types of databases are:

Print Indexes
The index at the back of a book is a print index. It allows you to go quickly to a topic in the book. A phone book is another type of print index.

Electronic Databases
We usually think of searchable electronic indexes and catalogs when we refer to databases. WebCat, InfoTrac, EBSCOhost, and NewsBank are examples of electronic databases. They let you quickly find a topic in books or periodicals.

In an electronic database each article or book has its own record, which provides information about it.

Each record is composed of individual pieces of information called fields. Fields include such information as the author, title, publisher, subject heading, etc. for that item. Each of these fields is a searchable access point to the information.