Is Google a good academic source? Why do we have to use library databases?


Google is not an academic source, or indeed, a source at all and it should never be cited as a source.  Rather, Google is a most popular search engine designed to help find materials that are available on the Internet. In general, Google should not be used to find academic sources, as most websites and documents are not of an academic nature. Just remember that anyone can publish and post on Internet.

Even if you find good quality academic resources via Google search you'll get commercial websites and, most of the time, they will sell you articles for a fee.

Google Scholar is a branch of the Google search engine that strives to locate only scholarly sources, and bases the relevancy of an article on how often it was cited and who it was published by. Google Scholar is useful as a jumping off point for your research, but to do in-depth research, you need to use a subject specific database provided by the library. From our observation, many Google Scholar articles are actually dated. Our databases have more updated information.  

If you search Google Scholar on campus you could see if PI library has this it in full test. Just look for Full-Text @ PI Library link on the side.

Both Google and Google Scholar shouldn't be your first choice to find academic resources - instead, one of the library's databases might be a better place to start. Since the library is subscribing to these resources, you should access them from our library website. Off off campus access you have to log in using you PI user name and password.


  • Last Updated Dec 24, 2017
  • Views 22
  • Answered By Asmaa Assim

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