FAQ: Premium Research Databases

What are the premium research databases?

Premium research databases provide content that is usually only available to paid subscribers. SCPL subscribes, and as a library patron you get access to that content.

What kind of information do they have?

Some premium databases - like article databases - are great for research. The content is from newspapers, magazines, and even peer-reviewed journals that aren't found doing a web search.

The premium databases might also help you to repair your car, study for an entrance exam, learn a language, or find your next favorite book.

Why not just use Google for research?

The web offers a tremendous amount of information, though not all is free or findable through Google. Some content on the web is biased, incomplete, or out-of-date. Our premium research databases are purchased from known publishers, and no advertising is accepted on these sites. Our Reference staff trusts these databases for providing timely, accurate, and authoritative information.

How do I access the premium research databases?

Our premium research databases can be found under the eLibrary menu. Select Research, then select a topic, or choose from the A to Z list.

Why can't I access some of them from home/work/school?

Most premium research databases are available to use from any location with your SCPL library card number and password. A few are only available at Santa Cruz Public Library branches. This is due to restrictions that the vendor has placed on access to the resources.

Why do I have to create an account to use some of the premium research databases?

Some of the databases ask that you create an account before you can use them. Some of these databases are online learning tools that keep track of your progress in a course, or keep your practice test scores. This allows you to leave the database, then return to have your place held for you.

When I create an account, what information is collected about me?

The collected information is usually your name, email address, and a password of your choosing. The library takes your privacy very seriously and requires that these companies not share your information with any third parties.