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Research Toolkit: Google vs. Library Resources

 Related Guide: Quickly Evaluate a Website

 

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.

The information that you find by searching Google has not necessarily been through a consistent review process. Anyone can publish on the web, making it hard to determine credibility and relevance. 

You may also run into a paywall where you cannot access articles without paying for them (like newspaper, magazine, and journal articles). 

Use Google or another web search engine 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
  • online job postings, shopping, or travel services

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