Databases

information storage and retrieval

information storage and retrieval, the systematic process of collecting and cataloging data so that they can be located and displayed on request. Computers and data processing techniques have made possible the high-speed, selective retrieval of large amounts of information for government, commercial, and academic purposes. There are several basic types of information-storage-and-retrieval systems. Document-retrieval systems store entire documents, which are usually retrieved by title or by key words associated with the document. In some systems, the text of documents is stored as data. This permits full text searching, enabling retrieval on the basis of any words in the document. In others, a digitized image of the document is stored, usually on a write-once optical disc. Database systems store the information as a series of discrete records that are, in turn, divided into discrete fields (e.g., name, address, and phone number); records can be searched and retrieved on the basis of the content of the fields (e.g., all people who have a particular telephone area code). The data are stored within the computer, either in main storage or auxiliary storage, for ready access. Reference-retrieval systems store references to documents rather than the documents themselves. Such systems, in response to a search request, provide the titles of relevant documents and frequently their physical locations. Such systems are efficient when large amounts of different types of printed data must be stored. They have proven extremely effective in libraries, where material is constantly changing.

See A. Ishikawa, Future Computer and Information Systems (1986).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Internet Age of Competitive Intelligence
John J. McGonagle; Carolyn M. Vella.
Quorum Books, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Using Online Databases"
The Handbook of Data Mining
Nong Ye.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 15 "Data Storage and Management"
Web Search Savvy: Strategies and Shortcuts for Online Research
Barbara G. Friedman.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Finding and Using Online Databases"
Copyright and Multimedia Products: A Comparative Analysis
Irini A. Stamatoudi.
Cambridge University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Databases"
The Basic Business Library: Core Resources
Rashelle S. Karp; Bernard S. Schlessinger.
Greenwood Press, 2002 (4th edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Online in the Information Age--Access to Business Databases"
Electronic Collaboration in Science
Stephen H. Koslow; Michael E. Huerta.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Federated Database Technology for Data Integration: Lessons from Bioinformatics"
Journalism for the 21st Century: Online Information, Electronic Databases, and the News
Tom Koch.
Praeger, 1991
Computer-Assisted Reporting
Bruce Garrison.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Part IV "Advanced Database Reporting Strategies"
Studying Service-Learning: Innovations in Education Research Methodology
Shelley H. Billig; Alan S. Waterman.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Creating and Utilizing Databases on Service-Learning"
When Querying Databases, You've Got to Ask the Right Question
Hayes, David C.; Hunton, James E.
Journal of Accountancy, Vol. 191, No. 2, February 2001
Privacy and Power: Computer Databases and Metaphors for Information Privacy
Solove, Daniel J.
Stanford Law Review, Vol. 53, No. 6, July 2001
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