Bibliographic database

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A bibliographic database is a database of bibliographic records, an organized digital collection of references to published literature, including journal and newspaper articles, conference proceedings, reports, government and legal publications, patents, books, etc. In contrast to library catalogue entries, a large proportion of the bibliographic records in bibliographic databases describe articles, conference papers, etc., rather than complete monographs, and they generally contain very rich subject descriptions in the form of keywords, subject classification terms, or abstracts. [1]


A bibliographic database may be general in scope or cover a specific academic discipline like computer science. [2] A significant number of bibliographic databases are proprietary, available by licensing agreement from vendors, or directly from the indexing and abstracting services that create them. [3]

Many bibliographic databases have evolved into digital libraries, providing the full text of the indexed contents.[ citation needed ] Others converge with non-bibliographic scholarly databases to create more complete disciplinary search engine systems, such as Chemical Abstracts or Entrez.


Prior to the mid-20th century, individuals searching for published literature had to rely on printed bibliographic indexes, generated manually from index cards. "During the early 1960s computers were used to digitize text for the first time; the purpose was to reduce the cost and time required to publish two American abstracting journals, the Index Medicus of the National Library of Medicine and the Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). By the late 1960s such bodies of digitized alphanumeric information, known as bibliographic and numeric databases, constituted a new type of information resource. [4] Online interactive retrieval became commercially viable in the early 1970s over private telecommunications networks. The first services offered a few databases of indexes and abstracts of scholarly literature. These databases contained bibliographic descriptions of journal articles that were searchable by keywords in author and title, and sometimes by journal name or subject heading. The user interfaces were crude, the access was expensive, and searching was done by librarians on behalf of 'end users'. [5]

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ProQuest American information company

ProQuest LLC is an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based global information-content and technology company, founded in 1938 as University Microfilms by Eugene B. Power. ProQuest provides applications and products for libraries. Its resources and tools support research and learning, publishing and dissemination, and the acquisition, management and discovery of library collections.

MEDLINE is a bibliographic database of life sciences and biomedical information. It includes bibliographic information for articles from academic journals covering medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and health care. MEDLINE also covers much of the literature in biology and biochemistry, as well as fields such as molecular evolution.

This page is a glossary of library and information science.

Astrophysics Data System Digital Library portal for researchers in Astronomy and Physics, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

The Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is an online database of over eight million astronomy and physics papers from both peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed sources. Abstracts are available free online for almost all articles, and full scanned articles are available in Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) and Portable Document Format (PDF) for older articles. It was developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and is managed by the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Entrez cross-database search engine, or web portal

The Entrez Global Query Cross-Database Search System is a federated search engine, or web portal that allows users to search many discrete health sciences databases at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website. The NCBI is a part of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), which is itself a department of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which in turn is a part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The name "Entrez" was chosen to reflect the spirit of welcoming the public to search the content available from the NLM.

Google Scholar academic search service by Google

Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. Released in beta in November 2004, the Google Scholar index includes most peer-reviewed online academic journals and books, conference papers, theses and dissertations, preprints, abstracts, technical reports, and other scholarly literature, including court opinions and patents. While Google does not publish the size of Google Scholar's database, scientometric researchers estimated it to contain roughly 389 million documents including articles, citations and patents making it the world's largest academic search engine in January 2018. Previously, the size was estimated at 160 million documents as of May 2014. An earlier statistical estimate published in PLOS ONE using a Mark and recapture method estimated approximately 80–90% coverage of all articles published in English with an estimate of 100 million. This estimate also determined how many documents were freely available on the web.

Education Resources Information Center US Department of Education online repository

The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) is an online digital library of education research and information. ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences of the United States Department of Education.

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Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale

Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale, commonly known by its acronym RILM, is a nonprofit organization that offers digital collections and advanced tools for locating research on all topics related to music. Its mission is “to make this knowledge accessible to research and performance communities worldwide….to include the music scholarship of all countries, in all languages, and across all disciplinary and cultural boundaries, thereby fostering research in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.” Central to RILM's work and mission is the international bibliography of scholarship relating to all facets of music research.

Project MUSE

Project MUSE, a non-profit collaboration between libraries and publishers, is an online database of peer-reviewed academic journals and electronic books. Project MUSE contains digital humanities and social science content from over 250 university presses and scholarly societies around the world. It is an aggregator of digital versions of academic journals, all of which are free of digital rights management (DRM). It operates as a third-party acquisition service like EBSCO, JSTOR, OverDrive, and ProQuest.

Inspec is a major indexing database of scientific and technical literature, published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), and formerly by the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), one of the IET's forerunners.

POPLINE is a reproductive health database, containing citations with abstracts to scientific articles, reports, books, and unpublished reports in the field of population, family planning, and reproductive health issues. POPLINE is maintained by the K4Health Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/ Center for Communication Programs, and it is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Web of Science Online subscription index of citations

Web of Science is a website which provides subscription-based access to multiple databases that provide comprehensive citation data for many different academic disciplines. It was originally produced by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and is currently maintained by Clarivate Analytics

The National Social Science Documentation Centre (NASSDOC), a constituent unit of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), was established in 1969. The objective of the NASSDOC is to provide library and information support services to social science researchers.

A digital library, digital repository, or digital collection, is an online database of digital objects that can include text, still images, audio, video, or other digital media formats. Objects can consist of digitized content like print or photographs, as well as originally produced digital content like word processor files or social media posts. In addition to storing content, digital libraries provide means for organizing, searching, and retrieving the content contained in the collection.

Projekt Dyabola is a software for creating and browsing bibliographic data and image collections, specifically targeted to the humanities community. The program is built and maintained by the Biering & Brinkmann company of Germany, and access to a web version is available through subscription. The service is available in six languages.

A bibliographic record is an entry in a bibliographic index which represents and describes a specific resource. A bibliographic record contains the data elements necessary to help users identify and retrieve that resource, as well as additional supporting information, presented in a formalized bibliographic format. Additional information may support particular database functions such as search, or browse, or may provide fuller presentation of the content item.

CAB Direct is a source of references for the applied life sciences It incorporates two bibliographic databases: CAB Abstracts and Global Health. CAB Direct is an access point for multiple bibliographic databases produced by CABI. This database contains 8.8 million bibliographic records, which includes 85,000 full text articles. It also includes noteworthy literature reviews. News articles and reports are also part of this combined database.

Academic Search is a monthly indexing service. It was first published in 1997 by EBSCO Publishing in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Its academic focus is international universities, covering social science, education, psychology, and other subjects. Publishing formats covered are academic journals, magazines, newspapers, and CD-ROM.


  1. Feather, John; Sturges, Paul, eds. (2003). International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science (Second ed.). London: Routledge. p.  127. ISBN   0-415-25901-0.
  2. Kusserow, Arne; Groppe, Sven (2014). "Getting Indexed by Bibliographic Databases in the Area of Computer Science". Open Journal of Web Technologies. 1 (2). doi:10.19210/OJWT_2014v1i2n02_Kusserow . Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  3. Reitz, Joan M. (2004). "bibliographic database". Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited. p. 70. ISBN   1-59158-075-7.
  4. "information processing". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
  5. Borgman, Christine L. (2007). Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet . Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. pp.  89–90. ISBN   978-0-262-02619-2.