Google vs. Library Databases
Searching is not the same in library databases as it is in
Google uses natural language.
You can type in your question exactly as you would say it in conversation.
Library Databases use subject headings.
You must type in only your key concepts rather than complete sentences.
Google will take our complete sentences or ideas and pull the key phrases out for you, bringing back
lots of (hopefully) relevant results. The key phrases are hyperlinked below.
This same search phrase does not give us any
results in Academic Search Premier. The databases
need you to input key phrases alone.
When we use only key words or phrases, our
search brings us back 96 results.
Putting the key words and phrases into separate boxes and using “and” from the drop-down menu, or
stacking terms, also increases our results. The search on the left searched for documents that contain
the phrase “animal rights” and the word “issues.” The search on the right looked for documents that
contain the phrase “animal rights issues,” yielding much lower results.
If we used “or” from the drop-down menu, our results would be huge as our search would look for
documents containing “animal rights” OR “issues,” not both. Similarly, using “not” would search for
documents containing “animal rights” that do not contain the word “issues.”
How to Evaluate a Web Page
In general, you should not use
many web pages in your research.
Notable exceptions include
academic sites or a .edu web
address, such as the Colorado
State University Library pages
shown here, or government sites
with a .gov web address. This
does not mean that pages with
these addresses are above
scrutiny.You must still evaluate
If you do use any web pages in
your research, make sure you can
identify the author or sponsor.
Web pages without authors or
sponsors are much less likely to
contain credible information.
If you have any questions, please do
not hesitate to ask.
You can visit the library’s homepage
or contact a librarian.