Krannert Memorial Library

The Treasury of Wisdom—The Heart of the University


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Library Databases Vs. Google Search


Google is a great tool for a quick search to get some basic information.  You can use it to find an organization’s web site, see when a movie is playing, find a recipe, etc.  However, Google should not be used in place of the Library Databases for scholarly research:

  • Search results differ for each person (results are based on your browsing history, geographic location and Google account information).
  • Google gives priority to sites that have the most links from other sites.  They are not based on specific subject keywords.
  • There are too many results and you cannot sort them.
  • The top results are often paid ads sponsered by a company.
  • Results are usually not from a scholarly source.  Many pages are not from a reliable (academic) source.
  • It is possible that you may find a scholarly source (i.e. from Google Scholar), but it is unlikely that you will have free access to it.

Learn more about how Google Search works.