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Types of Electronic Resources

Research Using the Internet

Types of Electronic Resources

Below are some brief descriptions of the types of electronic resources which are available through the University of Chicago Library.

Research Guides by Subject: Subject guides are web resources designed by University of Chicago Librarians which provide an overview of resources in a subject area. They include staff contacts, print collections, electronic resources, as well as links to other relevant Web sites. Subject guides are a good place to start when you are beginning research on a specific topic. You can locate subject guides from our Database Finder page or go to our Web site and select Research Guides by Subject.

Indexes: An index is a reference source which provide bibliographic information about journal articles, as well as other types of materials. While indexes have long existed in print, online indexes have expanded the type of work done by researches.more options than looking for materials by subject, author or title. Online indexes allow you to look beyond subject, author, or title. They allow you to look for keywords or phrases throughout the bibliographic information--including the abstract.

Sometimes people refer to indexes as "Article Databases," since they are mainly used to search for articles in journals. Many also include the full-text of an actual article online. However, it is important to realize that many indexes cover other research materials such as conference papers, book chapters, dissertations, research studies, etc.

You can locate indexes for your subject area through the Database Finder page or go to our Web site or by selecting Research Guides by Subject.

Electronic Books and Texts: The Library provides access to a variety of electronic books, as well as the other printed works (such as essays, poems, or historical doocuments). Some of these electronic books and texts are part of large, searchable databases.

Most of our main collections for electronic books and texts can be located through the Library's Electronic Resources page. However, many more individual titles may be located using the Library Catalog.

Electronic Journals: The Library has an E-Journals Database to help you find online versions of our journals. The Library also links to electronic versions of journals through FindIt!.

Library Catalogs: Most libraries now provide access to their catalogs from their web sites. Many others provide information about their holdings into larger databases such as WorldCat or the RLG Union Catalog. The Library provides links to these catalogs under the "Catalogs" section on its web site.

Reference Sources: Many dictionaries, almanacs, encyclopedias, and other reference sources are now available online in full-text. You can locate these resources through the Library's Database Finder, the Library Catalog, or through many of the Library's Research Guides by Subject.

Statistical Sources: The Library has access to a variety of subscription databases which provide economic data or statistics. You can locate these resources through the Library's Database Finder, the Library Catalog, or through many of the Library's Research Guides by Subject. Be aware that there are many statistical sources available in print which cannot be found online.

Sound Recordings: There are only a few Library databases which provide access to sound recordings. If you are looking for music online, start at the Music Subject Guide for the resources which are available to the Univesity of Chicago Community.

Image Databases (Art, Maps, Medical, etc.): Some databases include graphics or images, such as photos, paintings or maps. You can use the Database Finder page to locate these. The Art Subject Guide also provides extensive information about locating images.