Popular general research databases include JSTOR.org and EBSCOhost.com. Both of these databases feature access to articles related to a broad range of subjects. Alternately, Westlaw.com and LexisNexis.com feature access to documents and journals specifically related to the legal field.
Reliable, peer-reviewed articles and journals is crucial to any academic pursuit and an integral element of many professions. Many university students in the United State have free access to these databases while enrolled in college, and employers often provide access to journal research databases based on the needs of their clients and associates.
With each database, certain limitations exist. For example, JSTOR.org's articles are generally related to the humanities and do not feature access to "taxpayer funded" research. However, the website does feature over 50 million digitized pages. Similarly, the narrow range of subject matter covered by LexisNexis.com would not prove beneficial to researchers in physics or mathematics, but its access to 45,000 sources in the legal field make it an extremely valuable tool for attorneys, law students, judges and other legal professionals.
Access to each database varies. JSTOR.org is available to walk-in users at many public libraries. Westlaw.com, however, may be unavailable without a paid subscription to individuals who are neither students nor members of the legal profession. Access varies from company to company, and therefore users must learn about access once they have determined which database best fits their needs.