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Sullivan Library at WDMS: Grade 7 Research Guides

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USING WIKIPEDIA FOR ACADEMIC RESEARCH

Q & A

Q&A: Database vs Website

Q: What is a database?
A: A database is a collection of articles from newspapers, journals, magazines, and reference materials organized in a way that can be easily searched.

Q: What is the purpose of a database?
A: Databases exist to store information and to allow students to search for and find information within the database. Our school library catalog is an example of a database. It contains data about all our library materials and it can be searched by keyword.

Q: What is a website?
A: A website is a collection of web pages made available on the Internet by an individual, a company, an educational institution, a government, or an organization.

Q: What is the purpose of a website?
A: Websites exist for a variety of purposes: to inform, entertain, persuade, sell products. Not all websites are appropriate for academic research. Students are encouraged to evaluate information from the Internet.

Q: What are some differences between a database and a website?
A: Databases contain fact-checked information. The LPS Library Department pays for our databases in order to provide students with access to high-quality information. Students evaluate information from databases based on whether the information is helpful, not whether information is credible. Websites are free to use and can contain quality information - or not, depending on their purpose. Websites aren't always fact-checked. Before using a website for academic research students should evaluate whether the information is credible, accessible, relevant to their topic, and trustworthy.

Q: When should students use a database?
A: Databases are a reliable source of information any time students need credible, trustworthy information for academic research.

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