Monday, Feb 26 2024
Digital Content

The digital content* (e-books, digital magazines, databases, etc.) in the E-library helps you do serious research at work, from home or any remote location 24/7/365. A USAFE milnet connection or a valid USAFE Library card and commercial internet are all you need. There's plenty for fun and relaxation too. Whether developing athletic skills, gourmet cooking, repairing your car, learning German, or finding places to see & things to do in Europe, a world of useful information is at your fingertips.

* information in a electronic format. The terms "electronic resources" and "digital resources" are also used.

Select an option below to access digital content.

Frequently Asked Questions: Databases

Find answers to questions concerning databases.

What's a database?
A database is a collection of data/information organized for quick and easy searching. Our databases are found under the heading "Databases" (what else?) on the E-Library page. There are multiple databases available through the two main resources-- EbscoHost and Gale/Cengage. But as you can see, those names don't tell you much. For now just take our word for it that there's information on anything you could possibly need or want. And that's really not an exaggeration. Millions of full-text articles from magazines and professional journals (periodicals). Content from thousands of books. Video too. It is impossible to describe the incredible variety of topics covered so we suggest "click" and explore. To get some idea of the amount of information available, start with the EbscoHost or Gale/Cengage databases. There's no such thing as a mistake here and you can't break anything. Try everything out. Then when you really need something — you'll have a better idea of where to start. When all else fails and you can't find what you're looking for? Ask your friendly librarian for help.

What's the difference between databases and information I find on the internet?
Although you access the USAFE & Air Force Library databases through the internet, the information in databases is generally much more reliable than what a search engine like Google (or Yahoo or Bing) provide. Search engines produce results based on elaborate formulas such as the frequency of words on a website and sometimes because of paid advertising. And anyone can put up pretty much what they want on a website. Search "reptilian humanoids" or any conspiracy theory on the internet if you doubt this. Content in databases is much more likely to be edited and reviewed for accuracy. Scholarly journals undergo even more scrutiny and are usually peer reviewed — meaning experts in a subject matter check facts, statements, experiments, etc. for errors before an article is even considered for publication.

So what's in these databases?
Here are some examples. Information about: child development & parenting, health, cooking, current events, sports & games, politics, cultures & countries, home repair, your ancestors (genealogy), hobbies & crafts, travel, careers, education, military affairs, budgeting & investing, & computers. And that is just a sample.

Where can I find information on which database to use?
When you "Access via Library Card" you will see broad headings followed by the names of each digital resource followed by a short description. Clicking on the digital resource itself will take you to its home page where there will be more detailed information, FAQs, help links and so on. If you come through "Access via MILNET" you'll note that the descriptions of each digital resource are quite a bit longer. However from that point on, the home page of each product, the content and experience are identical.

What do "full-text", "abstract", and "citation" mean?
These are terms used in regards to publications and usually refer to periodicals.

Full-text means you will see word for word what appeared in the original printed article. A full- text article usually contains illustrations (charts, diagrams, photographs, etc.) which appeared in the original print version.

An abstract is a summary of the article. It will contain a description of the main points and the citation. Abstracts almost always deal with scholarly or professional type journal articles and can be very lengthy and/or difficult to understand for someone not familiar with the subject matter. The abstract will often provide enough information to determine whether a full-text version is useful, needed , or not.

A citation contains bibliographic information. For a periodical article this includes the following: Name of the author or authors, title of the article, title of the periodical in which the article can be found, as well as the page number, volume number, & date of the issue.