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Differences between a library search engine and a public search engine

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By Kyla James July 31, 2023 - 1:13pm

As we near the end of the semester, we are asked to complete a literature review as our final assignment. This entails a vast amount of time researching a topic and comparing commonalities and differences between sources. As we embark on this task, we are asked to reflect on the differences between a literature search using library search engines and public internet searches, such as google. Most notably is that you can filter your search criteria to include peer reviewed articles, geographical locations, and publication dates.  You can also ensure that full text of the article is available, so that you can read the article in its entirety and thus strengthen your citation in your paper. This criterion is usually specified by instructors as well, as a credible reference usually needs to be a full text citation and not just the article’s abstract.

Additionally, if you limit your searches to the public internet, the results may not necessarily be authenticated or approved at an academic and professional standard.  You also risk the reference as being copied and not necessarily from the original source, as photo and text authenticity can often be an issue online. University library search engines have already filtered the articles to be credible and athenticated sources for attending students, which further supports the students academic writing and success in their work.