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Library Tutorials

When Browser Searching Can Help

There is lots of great information available on the internet, but finding free, credible, useful information can take time.

Library Databases are just collections of information that are organized. Imagine a database as a book with page numbers, and a browser search as a book without them. If you dropped both and the pages scattered, which would you rather work with?

Consider a browser search if:

  • Your topic is very new (for example something that was reported this month) – consider a news site
  • You want recent economic or heath data without interpretation – consider a government site
  • You tried a library database and did not find diverse voices on your topic

There are things on the internet which are bias or misleading. If you select a news resource, use the RADAR criteria to evaluate the information or check the facts with a credible resource.

If you need peer reviewed or scholarly articles for your assignment, browser searching is rarely a good use of your time. Try the Discover search on the Library website or check out one of the Database Tutorials.

Pay Attention to Internet Domains

Check the domain to learn more about the site.

.GOV sites are published by governments. Different countries add their country code to their websites. For example : United States (.us) or Canada (.ca), Chile (.cl), Finland (.fi), India (.in), Pakistan (.pk), South Africa (.za), or Sweden (.se).

Use the domains to search in Google Scholar or Google Advanced Search. This example shows 'Marketing research" article at published since 2018.

Google Scholar search for "Marketing research"

In the past, colleges and universities used the domain .EDU. This is still used, as are .education and .college. In the United Kingdom they us Below is a Google Scholar example using (China or Chinese) leadership women site:(.education OR .edu) with 26,000 results published since 2018.

Google Scholar results using .edu OR .education



Use the RADAR Evaluation Criteria as a guide to evaluate resources based on rationale or purpose of publication, authority of the author, accuracy, date of publication, and relevancy to your needs.

Links to Google and Google Scholar Videos