Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library Research Skills: Periodical Databases: Periodical vs Database



If your professor is requiring you to take Library Research Skills Workshops, or giving extra credit, this LibGuide does not replace a Library Skills Research Workshop, and your professor will not be notified.  You must attend an actual workshop to meet your professor's expectations.

If your professor has included a module in your Canvas classroom on this topic, this LibGuide does not replace that module. You will need to complete the module in Canvas, as it has a quiz at the end, which this LibGuide does not. 

This guide will help you understand:

  • How to access databases
  • How databases work
  • EBSCOhost basics
  • Other databases

Each tab in this guide corresponds to one of the bullet points above.

What is a Periodical?

A periodical is a publication that is produced with a particular frequency, such as a newspaper (daily), or a magazine or journal (weekly, monthly, quarterly). Periodicals consist primarily of articles. 


What is a database?

A database is a searchable collection of reliable, vetted (already evaluated or fact-checked) resources. We pay for access to these resources through subscriptions – like Netflix, but for articles!

While the Bakersfield College Library subscribes to approximately 150 periodicals in print form, this small collection isn’t adequate to meet the research needs of most BC students. So the library subscribes to two electronic periodical databases, EBSCO Academic Search Complete and Gale Academic One File, which offer access to approximately 6,700 additional periodicals in electronic form.   

Reference Librarian

Mindy Wilmot's picture
Mindy Wilmot