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Research Toolkit: Google vs. Library Resources

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We all use Google to find information. When you are asked to do academic research, your instructor expects you to go beyond Google and use the library. Why?
Here are some points to consider:

The Library Google

Library resources are carefully reviewed and chosen by librarians for accuracy, authority, and relevance.

Use the library to find:

  • articles in scholarly journals
  • articles in magazines & newspapers
  • books on your topic
  • help with your research, from choosing a topic, to search techniques, and putting it all together.

Information that you find by searching Google has not been consistently reviewed by experts with subject knowledge. Anyone can publish on the web, and that makes it hard to determine credibility and relevance. 

You may run into paywalls that require payment to access articles (like newspaper, magazine, and journal articles). Some of these sources may be available at no cost through your library.

Use Google or other web search engines to find:

  • breaking news & current information: news, weather, etc.
  • research on a well-known event or individual
  • information on corporations, non-profits and other organizations
  • job postings, shopping, or travel services

Adapted from UC Santa Cruz Nettrail, University of California, Santa Cruz NetTrail Development Team