What is a database? (back to top)
A database is an electronic resource that allows you to locate and access information from books, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias and scholarly journals online. A database's coverage can be multidisciplinary, such as Academic Search Premier, or related to a specific subject matter, like Auto Repair Reference Center. A database may contain a copy of an entire article (full-text), a brief summary (abstract) or its citation. The Ocean County Library subscribes to over seventy online databases, most of which can be accessed within our branches or remotely from any computer with internet access.

Why should I use a database? (back to top)
The Ocean County Library budgets a specific amount of money to be spent on electronic database subscriptions so that our patrons may have access to infinitely more information than we could possibly purchase in print. Databases allow you to view reliable information that has been reviewed and edited by knowledgeable sources, and which is not readily available on the World Wide Web via a search engine. While there is a lot of wonderful information on the internet, there are also pages that are misleading, biased, inaccurate, or out of date. The Ocean County Library strives to select high quality, authoritative databases that can be used to meet a myriad of informational needs. Some are geared towards specific subjects, others towards certain age groups; all are meant to inform, entertain and assist you as you explore the world online.

Can I use these databases from home? (back to top)
All of our databases, with the exception of Accessible Archives, Ancestry Library Edition, Foundation Directory, Masterplots, Mergent Online, Real Quest and Westlaw, may be accessed from any computer with internet access. NetLibrary can be accessed remotely only after you have created an account at any of our branches.

Do I need a library card to access these databases outside the library? (back to top)
These databases are meant to be utilized by all Ocean County residents. All you need is a library card. You must type the fourteen digit barcode on the back of your library card to access these databases from home. Where necessary, other specific login instructions are detailed in the descriptions of each database. If you do not have a library card, you can obtain a temporary card number by clicking here.

What do I do if I do not have a library card? (back to top)
You may obtain a temporary one via this form; otherwise, you must speak with your local branch’s circulation desk to obtain a permanent card.

Why are some databases unable to be accessed from home? (back to top)
Due to contractual agreements, certain databases are only accessible through the library staff or at certain locations. The Ocean County Library does its best to select databases that will be both conveniently available and informative; unfortunately these ideals are not always possible to implement, and access to certain databases will require you to be at specific locations. 

Why do I occasionally have problems obtaining access to certain databases? (back to top)
Due to contractual agreements, only a specific number of users may simultaneously access certain databases, namely Ancestry Library Edition, Business and Company Resource Center, Biography Resource Center and MagillOnLiterature. We recommend waiting several moments before attempting to log back in. If this problem persists, please contact your local branch and alert them of the situation. 

How do I know which database has a particular newspaper or magazine? (back to top)
Many of our databases include a Title List or Browse Publications / Publications Search option that will enable you to view which publications are available within that particular resource. However, as of this moment, we lack a comprehensive list of each publication that is accessible through our electronic resources. If you would like assistance searching for a specific publication, please contact your local librarian.

Why can’t I access the most recent issue of Consumer Reports, etc.? (back to top)
Due to contractual agreements, there is a waiting period to view certain periodicals. Publishers may wish to hold back recent issues of their periodicals from electronic databases, since the immediate release of the publications to databases might reduce the sale of the print periodicals. Periodicals can be withheld from electronic databases for a period of time ranging from a week to several months or even over a year, depending upon the publication.

Why are some articles unavailable in full-text? (back to top)
It is left up to the publishers’ discretion which publications are printed in full-text and which are not.

Why are some pictures, images and graphics unavailable? (back to top)
Publishers also decide which publications will include reprint images, graphics and photographs.

Can I email or save my search results? (back to top)
Many databases enable you to save, print and email individual articles or citations that you have selected. We recommend reading the Help or About section whenever you are in doubt regarding a particular database’s features.

My teacher says I cannot use the internet for this paper; can I still use these databases? (back to top)
You should always get clarification from your instructor regarding the use of electronic resources; those that are from an electronic database are generally taken directly from a print resource of some kind and therefore may be perfect for your assignment. Use your best judgment and be sure to check with your teacher.

How do I cite sources? (back to top)
For further information regarding how to cite sources, including those found online, according to various formats (APA, MLA and Chicago-Turabian), please click here.

Where can I go for further assistance? (back to top)
For further assistance, please call your local branch’s reference desk (for phone numbers click here) or contact an OCL librarian via email.

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