Subject Guides

English for Multi-Linguals (EML) Library Guide

Useful information for EML students about how to use the library and do research for your classes.

Guide Contents

What is a database?

A database is a collection of journals.

A journal is a collection of articles.

So, a database has many articles from many different journals.

What is a scholarly journal?

Do you need articles from a peer-reviewed or scholarly journal?

Find out what that means!

Your Librarian

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Megan Benson
Bartle Library LN-2307
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Research Help

Ask a Librarian logoNeed research help? Just ask!

What Are Databases and Why Use Them?

Databases are collections of data and information that are organized so that the information can easily be accessed, managed, and updated. Examples are 

  • Amazon, Netflix 
  • Web of Science, Science Direct (science-focused databases) 
  • PubMed, PsychInfo (medical-focused databases)
  • JSTOR (a humanities-focused database)
  • ERIC (an education-focused database)

Binghamton University Libraries subscribes to over 350 databases! Each one of these databases has different information. Library databases often have articles that will be helpful for your research assignments. 

Databases are better for college-level research than google because they have been vetted by many people to be reliable and correct information, plus there aren't any ads to clutter the screen. 


Selecting a database can seem overwhelming, especially when there are hundreds to choose from. Here are some tips:

  • Make sure you read the database description before you start searching. The description will tell you about the type of content, dates covered, full-text availability, language, and more.
  • When selecting a database from the A-Z List, use the dropdown menus to narrow the options by subject and/or type
  • Consider who is producing information about your topic. How would those people share that information? Depending on who they are, the answer may be scholarly journals, books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, and/or social media. This will affect which type of database is most useful for you.

Accessing Databases

There are several ways to access databases from the Libraries' website. These are the recommended ways:

  1. Most Subject Guides include recommended databases. There's a guide for every subject that you can take courses in at Binghamton.
  2. The Databases A-Z List provides the full list of all the databases you have access to through the Libraries. The list can be filtered by database subject and type.


When accessing databases, be sure to go through the Libraries' website to ensure that you'll have access to all of our content. If you try to access databases directly, you'll likely run into paywalls.

Best Bet Databases for EML Classes

We have access to over 350 different databases. These are especially helpful for EML students: 

Get It at BU

Are you looking for an article (or book!) that the Libraries doesn't have access to? Don't pay for research related materials; the Library can get it for your for free! 

If you see this icon Get It @ BU click on it! It will take you to a page to ask another library to share it with you, for free!