A Library database is a collection of items, presented in the form of individual items or records, which you can search and browse using a computer or device.
CSU Library calls them Journal Databases, because predominantly they contain journals and articles. But in fact they can contain items of all different types:
Some databases cover a particular subject area, while others cover a range of subjects.
Journal databases contain journal and article records which are similar to what we call references or citations.
Each record contains information which summarises the journal or article.
Many databases contain the full-text of the articles as well. Most commonly, a journal database will have the fulltext for some articles, but not for others. (Some journal databases are entirely fulltext; others have none at all.)
You can browse a database for relevant material but you can also search using keyword and key phrases. Databases generally have quite sophisticated search functions. See Searching in a Database.
Many databases are available to you via one of four important Database Platforms. See Databases and Database Platforms below.
Note: If you use Google Scholar, you should do so from the Library's Google Scholar page, because it has instructions on how to set up Google Scholar to show which of the results are held by CSU Library. Or watch this short (1 min. 56 sec.) video to learn about Using Google Scholar with CSU Library.
The Internet can be a great source of information about government departments, consumer issues, companies, latest news and more, but also gives you a lot of irrelevant and/or unreliable information, and does not necessarily give you access to scholarly literature.
Databases, on the other hand:
It's helpful to know the difference between a database, and a database platform.
As we have seen, a database is an organised collection of information records or items that you can access with a computer or device, containing journals and articles, or videos, images, or listings of people or companies.
A database platform, on the other hand, is a company which provides access to a number of databases, via a search interface unique to that company, where the databases can be searched/browsed individually or together.