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Monmouth College Hewes Library

Google Scholar vs. Library Databases

Google Scholar vs. Library Databases

How is Google Scholar different from library databases?

Researchers use Google Scholar as a discovery tool in conjunction with other disciplinary tools.

Google Scholar CAN be useful for:

  • locating extremely recent publications
  • searching the full text (when available) for deep discovery
  • including materials outside a disciplinary database

However, Google & Google Scholar search only the visible internet. That means Google could miss:

  • Information in subscription databases like PsycInfo
  • Information in subscription content on publisher journal websites
  • A comprehensive search of peer reviewed journal literature

Google & Google Scholar don't have some of the effective search features included in library databases like PsycInfo. These "cool" features include:

  • Subject headings
  • Abstracts
  • Thesaurus and controlled vocabulary
  • Tags by Age, Population Type, and Type of Study
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