Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Fullerton College Library

ENGL 100/101/103/201 Rosen

Google, Google Scholar, and Library Databases: A Comparison

 

Google

Google Scholar

Library Databases

Coverage

Entire indexed Internet including commercial sites (.com or .net), educational sites (.edu), government sites (.gov), organization sites (.org)

Subset of Internet focused on “academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.”

 

No way to know what sites are being searched or comprehensiveness

Published materials including popular, trade, and academic resources

Costs

Searching is free

 

Results include free and for-pay content

Searching is free

 

Results include free and for-pay content

 

Many full text articles are NOT free

Searching is tied to enrollment

 

Fullerton College pays for free student access to specialized resources geared toward the research needs of college students

Content

Searches retrieve everything published on the open and indexed Web: web pages, news, blogs, images, music, social media, and more

Searches retrieve articles, theses, books, abstracts, reports, and court opinions

Searches retrieve magazine or journal articles (popular, professional/trade and academic/scholarly), newspapers, books, book chapters, essays, conference papers, court opinions, reports, financial information, and statistics/data

 

Can select a specific database appropriate to your search terms

Authorship

Anyone

 

No review for quality or reliability before publishing

Journalists, scholars, professionals

 

May have been reviewed by editors of other scholars before publishing

Journalists, scholars, professionals

 

Reviewed by editors or other scholars before being presented or published

Indexing (organized by subject or controlled vocabulary)

No

 

Search returned by Google algorithm

 

Advanced search allows for some limiters

No

 

Search returned by Google algorithm

 

Advanced search allows for some limiters

Yes

 

Can limit and filter searches with a variety of options such as subject terms, author, date, source type, and more

 

Increased relevancy and precision in searching

Reliability

ALL sources must be evaluated for yourself

More trustworthy, but still requires verification

 

Not all sources are “scholarly”

 

Not all citations or links are accurate

Content vetted by editors, scholars, or other professionals

 

Bibliographic information developed and maintained by experts