Full text database

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For the underlying software type, see Document-oriented database.

A full text database or a complete text database is a database that contains the complete text of books, dissertations, journals, magazines, newspapers or other kinds of textual documents. It is opposed both to a bibliographic database (only covering bibliographical information and possibly abstracts and thus being a partial text database) and to a non-bibliographic database (such as, for example, a directory or a numeric database).

One of the earliest systems was IBM STAIRS, introduced in 1973.

Full text databases became common about 1990 when computer storage technology made them economic and technologically possible. There are two main classes: An extension of the classical bibliographical databases into full text databases (e.g. on hosts such as BRS, Dialog, LexisNexis and Westlaw) and Internet based full text databases (based on search engines or XML).

Notable examples[edit]

Main category: Full text databases
  • International Governmental Organization's full-Text databases[1]
  • JSTOR Full-text periodicals covering a wide range of topics, including humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses
  • U.S. Patents Fulltext databases:[2]
  • Wiley Online Library (Covering about 1400 electronic journals in the sciences and social sciences)

See also[edit]


  • Tenopir, Carol & Ro, Jung Soon (1990). Full Text Databases. New York: Greenwood Press.