Answered By: Harry L. Whitlock II
Last Updated: Jun 27, 2017     Views: 16

The databases and information available through UW Libraries are primarily scholarly sources, primary data sources, and government sources. Scholarly sources are those where other members of a research community (university, laboratory, etc.) publish their finding and other scholars review this information to ensure it is accurate. While there are disagreements between scholars on interpretation of data, these scholars work collaboratively to ensure data is valid and not skewed.

In comparison, the results from a Google search are ranked on popularity, not reliability. While using Google or other Internet search engines may be useful, as a scholar at a university the information you cite in papers and your own research needs to be accurate, reliable, and reviewed by other scholars.

In addition to the quality of content, the library databases provide access to many primary sources. Cutting-edge research and digital images of historic documents are available. This type of information is usually not available through Google searches. Finally, those government resources available through the library can be located more easily through the library than through Google.

This short video provides a brief synopsis of why library resources need to be used instead of Google.

This Tutorials library guide will help you get started using library databases and other resources. Contact the research help desk at each library to get additional assistance.

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