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LS 102 Course Materials

Introduction to Information Research

Databases: The Gateway to Knowledge

Databases are collections of information organized so that the desired information or data can be retrieved quickly. Databases are organized into records, which are then organized into fields. A record is a collection of related items of information treated as one unit. A field is a single piece of information within a record. If we use the telephone directory as an example we can say that each record consists of three fields: a name, an address, and a telephone number. The following are entries from the telephone book for "Rock and Roll Heaven."

NAME

ADDRESS

PHONE NUMBER

Cobain, Kurt

123 Grunge Drive

555-6543

Joplin, Janis

123 Pearl Street

555-6789

Lennon, John

123 Abbey Road

555-1234


The above example can be referred to as a database with three records. Each record consists of three fields: the name field, the address field, and the telephone number field. You can use this knowledge to perform simple searches.