Why Use Databases Instead of Google for Your Research?

Library databases are credible, accessible, and permanent. You can be sure where the information comes from. General Google searches provide results with everything including hoaxes and jokes. Google Scholar searches only scholarly materials and court cases but we often encounter articles that are not accessible- and that can be very frustrating. 

Here is a quick summary of features from five viewpoints. King County Library System subscribes to many useful databases that can be used with your free library card. Let's search wisely. Life is too short for irrelevant or inaccurate information.

  Library Databases Search Engines such as Google
Best used for Research that needs credible, reliable information
  • Current news and information, initial searches
  • Directions to specific locations
Types of Information
Review process
  • Articles and books written by journalists or experts in professional fields
  • Reviewed and updated regularly
Quality of information varies
Cost
  • No sponsors or advertisements
  • Paid with library budget, taxes 
Paid by advertisers
Permanence Maintained by responsible editors and publishers and retrievable again A website can disappear any moment without notice

The following books are helpful in conducting research for kids, young adults, and adults. 

Kids

Ace your Research Paper

Learn how to find reliable information, how to take notes, how to write, and how to revise your paper.

Young Adults

Strengthening Research Paper Skills

Helpful for young readers to learn how to develop research topics, conduct their research, complete the writing process with appropriately citing sources. The keys for great papers are solid reasoning and evidence, without plagiarism. This book also includes advice on traditional research and using new digital tools. I like the pages with sidebars and full-color imagery. 

Spanish version: Cómo mejorar tus trabajos de investigación is also available.

Adults

Digital Paper

Abbott breaks library research down into seven basic and simultaneous tasks: design, search, scanning/browsing, reading, analyzing, filing, and writing. He helps readers to organize their research, transitioning through a non-linear process of researching.

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