The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Library databases can save time, headaches for research

By Connor Hamilton/ reporter

Students may not realize they have access to over 150 online research databases, providing educational sources such as articles, books and websites to students doing research.

Students often struggle to find credible or reliable information when using broad search engines like Google.

“Google is a good jumping-off point, but it involves more work on the student’s part. Anyone can start a webpage and post stuff,” NE English assistant professor Lisette Blanco-Cerda said.

Most of the information available in the databases has been peer-reviewed and is intended to be both scholarly and trustworthy.

“With the rising costs of scholarship and databases, the fact that students have access to incredible research by some of the best minds in their fields is amazing,” she said. “Students should not only know about the databases but also be active users of these databases.”

TCC pays for access to the databases, which means students can access them with their WebAdvisor usernames and passwords free of charge.

Students can also use the databases to find information not related to scholarly research.

NE public service librarian Carolyn Brewer said TCC offers databases that provide other information about getting a regular or commercial driver’s license, taking a citizenship test or learning a different language.

“TCC also offers databases on home repair, small engine repair, hobbies, crafts, children’s activities, international newspapers, Consumer Reports magazine, music, art, really anything someone might be interested in,” she said.

The resources may also improve the way students approach problems intellectually.

“To examine a concept or idea through writing, one must immerse oneself in the field and related fields,” Blanco-Cerda said. “So just perusing databases, with no research paper to do, helps people to start making connections and to think critically about topics, ideas, the world and their own place in this ever-increasingly globalized world.”

Over 150 databases may sound overwhelming, but the online service allows students to narrow their searches to only those that apply to their topic.

“When a student searches on Google, they will get a huge results list with many results that may not be accurate or relevant. It is then up to students to evaluate each article of information,” Brewer said. “This can be time-consuming and difficult. The databases will save the students time if they use them correctly.”

TR public services librarian Todd Tyrma explained that while a large number of databases are available to students through the library’s website, students can narrow down the search.

“You can sort it by subject,” he said. “We even have some databases that are multi-subject to make the search that much more specific.”

The library staff on all campuses can assist students in using the databases if they get lost or confused while looking up information.

“The librarians can often save you time and effort by guiding you to the best database to use,” Brewer said.

And if students can’t make it into the library, they can access the libraries while off campus.

The databases are available to students 24-7 on the TCC library website

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