DATABASES-A Guided Tour (Locate and Retrieve Relevant Information-1)

DATABASES - A Guided Tour.
Navigating Our CSLA Library Web DATABASES Pages

This is a step-by-step guided tour through our CSLA Library DATABASES pages. If you are a Cal State L.A. student, staff, or faculty member with a valid NIS account username and password, you will use our CSLA Library Web DATABASES pages as your GATEWAY to accessing knowledge resources in all subject areas. In the following step-by-step tutorial, you will be instructed to use the [ALT] + [TAB] keys to toggle back and forth between these tutorial exercises and live practice with the actual CSLA Library Web. Let's begin our tutorial by launching the DATABASES page:

  1. DATABASES [OUR CSLA Library Web Databases Page] - Follow this link to launch this page in a new browser window. Examine it briefly, then return to these instructions by pressing the [ALT] + [TAB] keys simultaneoulsy.

  2. When you were examining the active DATABASES page window, did you notice these important features?

  • that the page is divided into three colored boxes: 1) a yellow box headed FIND A DATABASE, 2) a grey box headed LAUNCH A DATABASE and 3) an aqua box headed DATABASE GUIDES.
  • that there is a white area at the bottom below the three colored boxes called: HELP WITH DATABASE ACCESS PROBLEMS.
If you didn't notice all these features in your first brief examination of the DATABASES page, please return to it now (by pressing the [ALT] + [TAB] keys simultaneoulsy); when you are finished examining it a second time, return to these instructions (by once again using the [ALT] + [TAB] keys).

  • Now we are ready to take a detailed tour of the each of the major sections on the DATABASES page.

  • First, we are going to explore and learn about the yellow, FIND A DATABASE section.

    1. INSTRUCTIONS: If you are trying to locate an appropriate database for your research topic, we recommend that you will go first to the FIND A DATABASE section. This section is divided into three parts: "Databases arranged by Major Discipline," "Databases arranged by Format or Type," and "Other Useful Guides." You need to spend at least 10 minutes exploring the pages that are available from these links. After you explore one page, use the BACK button on your browser to return to the DATABASES page and then follow another link. Repeat this process until you have a good feel for how these pages are organized and how you might use them later to find appropriate databases for your topics.
    2. DO IT NOW, THEN RETURN HERE: Use the [ALT] + [TAB] keys to carry out these explorations. When you are finished, leave the alternate window at the DATABASES page, and then use the [ALT] + [TAB] keys once more to return to these instructions.

  • Next, we are going to explore and learn about the grey, LAUNCH A DATABASE section.

    1. INSTRUCTIONS: If you know the name of the database you want to search, then we expect you to go directly to the LAUNCH A DATABASE section. Here we provide three different ways for you do launch a database.
    • If you want to get into our OPAC Catalog, you will find a launch button at the top specifically for that purpose.
    • If you want a full description of the database, together with all launch possibilities and all available guides, then you can find it by name in our "Databases arranged Alphabetically" area.
    • If you want to access a database quickly, you can use either our On-Campus or Off-Campus pop-up menus to highlight the database of your choice, then click on GO to launch it immediately.
    The choice is yours -- you will discover that there are pros and cons to each option. In this exercise, we need you to spend at least five minutes exploring the links available from this LAUNCH section of the DATABASES pages. After you explore one page, use the BACK button on your browser to return to the DATABASES page and then follow another link. If you choose to launch a database (i.e., get into an active database session) please EXIT each database properly before returning to the DATABASES page. Repeat this process until you have a good feel for how this LAUNCH section of the DATABASES page is organized and how you might use it later to access known databases quickly.
  • DO IT NOW, THEN RETURN HERE: Use the [ALT] + [TAB] keys to go to the alternate window and carry out these explorations. When you are finished, leave the alternate window at the DATABASES page, and then use the [ALT] + [TAB] keys once more to return to these instructions.

  • Next, we are going to cover the aqua, DATABASE GUIDES section.

    1. INSTRUCTIONS: If you want to find a search guide for a known database, you can find it quickly in the DATABASE GUIDES section. However, we actually prefer that you use the "Databases arranged Alphabetically" links to find guides. This is because we list ALL applicable guides in these alphabetical entries, whereas in the pop-up guides menu, we only provide access to the primary search guide for each database. Sometimes it is not the primary guide that you need. So again, it is BEST to search for guides using the "Databases arranged Alphabetically" links. In this brief exercise, find the guides available for the PsycINFO database in both the pop-up guide menu, and the Databases arranged Alphabetically links area.
    2. DO IT NOW, THEN RETURN HERE: Use the [ALT] + [TAB] keys to carry out these explorations. When you are finished, leave the alternate window at the DATABASES page, and then use the [ALT] + [TAB] keys once more to return to these instructions.

  • Finally, we are going to investigate the white HELP WITH DATABASE ACCESS PROBLEMS section briefly.

    1. INSTRUCTIONS: Notice at the top of the DATABASES page, immediately under the phrase, LAUNCH A DATABASE, you will find this link: "HELP with database access problems." If you choose this link, it will take you down on the same page to the white area where the database access problems are covered. If at any time you try to launch a database, and you fail, the information provided in this section should help you resolve your database access problems. In our experience 95% of all access problems can be answered by referring to the information in this area. Spend a few minutes now browsing the information provided in this area.
    2. DO IT NOW, THEN RETURN HERE: Use the [ALT] + [TAB] keys to carry out these explorations. When you are finished, leave the alternate window at the DATABASES page, and then use the [ALT] + [TAB] keys once more to return to these instructions.

  • Your tour of our Library Web Database pages is now complete. CONGRATULATIONS! You should now know how these pages are organized for your use, and you should now be able to navigate these pages expertly. Please, return one last time to the active DATABASES window (use [ALT] + [TAB] keys), and CLOSE this active window (press [Ctrl]+[W], or click on File and click on Close).

  • Return to the point where you were before you started this tour by following this link back to the Locate & Retrieve Information page.


    Last updated (BC) 8/30/98