Databases are electronic collection of articles, eBooks, images, or other types of documents. Databases are often organized by format and/or subject of resources. For example, ProQuest Research Library is an article (format) database that cover many subject areas. Artstor is and image (format) database for the arts (subject).
The databases that are available to the CalArts community are organized by metier and by type of database, meaning what "type" or format of information you will find. The database you choose will depend on the type of research you are doing and your research topic. The more you use the databases the easier it will be to choose the best one for your research. If don't know where to start, contact a librarian for help. Here are a few example:
Topic: The role of music in the civil rights era in the United States
Best choice: International Index to Music Periodicals.(Articles, Subject: music)
Topic: How genetics effect the likelihood of drug addiction
Best choice: Proquest Research Library (Articles, Subject: multi-discipline [many subjects])
How do I search a database?
The search features of every database will all be a little different and have some different search tools, but they essentially function the same. You can search it the same way you can the library library catalog. Take a look at Select search terms you need guidance on selecting the best keyword for your search.