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Starting Your Research: Searching

Searching Google vs. Searching Databases

If your instructor is asking for you to find "Peer-reviewed" or "Academic Journals" you will NOT have an easy time using Google for this, not even Google Scholar will give you results that your instructor will find acceptable.  Check out this Guide for more information on Google and Google Scholar.  The BEST and ONLY way to find Peer-reviewed, academic journals will be through our library databases.  When using Google to do your research you run the risk of finding a "source" that could not be credible, could have old or incorrect information, be biased or even be FAKE NEWS to say the least.  So instead of wasting your time searching for articles on Google and wondering if your instructor will accept them, just go straight to the source - our databases.  

Another way to explain why databases are the best resource is to think of the scholar who spent lots of time and money working on a study… would they want to give away their work for free and publish it on Google? Or would they want it to exist in a database that is a regulated and reputable that holds other credible studies that we have to pay to subscribe to?

How do you search Google?

You probably type in a question or word if you want a quick answer/definition.  For example, "What time is it in Hawaii?" or "Where is the nearest Starbucks?"

Or, you type in a phrase: "the EU and refugees" or "Flint Water Crisis"

Library Databases are different from Google.

You will have a hard time if you treat your Library Database searches the same as your Google searches.

Database searching works best when you deconstruct your topic or question into Keywords. To learn more about keywords and how to use them, read our guide for Developing and Using Keywords!