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Occupational Therapy Assistant

Database Glossary

You will encounter some of these terms as you conduct database searches:

Abstract: A brief summary of a resource. When using the databases, you will usually be provided with an abstract to help you determine whether an article will meet your needs.

Citations: Information that is needed to locate a resource. For an article, a citation might include the article title, author name, journal name, publication date, issue, volume, and page number. In the library databases, every resource has a citation. Many have both a citation as well as the full-text of the resource.

Full-Text: Students will often (but not always) find complete, or full-text, articles in the library databases. The databases also provide tools to help you search specifically for full-text articles.

HTML: The computer language behind many Web sites. When using library databases, students will locate full-text resources that are offered in either HTML format. Generally, this will provide the article in a text-only format with a white background and black text.

PDF: Short for Portable Document Format. When using library databases, you will often find that PDF is one of the file formats offered for full-text articles. Usually, the PDF version of the article will be most like the actual print version. Any images or special formatting that appeared in the original will also be included in the PDF file.

Peer-Reviewed: This term describes articles and/or journals that have survived a rigorous editorial review process by a body of an author's professional colleagues, or peers. Peer-reviewed resources are highly regarded by scholars and instructors, and some databases provide special search tools to help you locate them.

Getting Started




Research is a process; be prepared to tweak your topic as you find relevant sources.

                                   The Research Process

Tips on getting more from your research efforts:


 mind map Organize with note cards, color-coding, or concept maps.


Subject-Specific Databases

General Research Databases

Information in the following databases covers many subject areas and should be included in almost any search for information:

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