Thing to Remember!
  • Google and Wikipedia can be good sources for background information about a topic.
  • Always check the Library's online databases to see if an article you found via Google or Wikipedia is available full-text.

LOOP » Doing Research » Google & Wikipedia

Google & Wikipedia

What is Google good for?

Google can a good place to start if you are unfamiliar with your topic.

TIP: You can do an "Advanced Search" in Google when searching for information about a topic. Under the "Advanced Search" option, you can search .edu, .gov, and .org domain sites. Typically .edu, .gov, and .org domains will provide more reliable information about a topic than a .com search.

Screenshot of Google's 'Advanced Search' option

What is Wikipedia good for?

Like Google, Wikipedia can a good place to start if you are unfamiliar with your topic and you are looking for background information.

Does the library provide resources to find background information about a topic?

You have the option to look for information about a topic in Encyclopedia Britannica, which is available by searching the list of databases (provide hyperlink) available at the library.

Keep in mind that you can also find incorrect information about a topic using Google and Wikipedia, so it's always a good idea to use the library's resources to locate background information.

What should I do if my professor told me NOT to use Google or Wikipedia for my research?

It is okay to use Google and Wikipedia to locate background information about your topic as long as you do not use it as a source.

Can I find full text articles using my favorite search engine?

You can try to search for articles using a search engine such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. You never know what you might find! However, many times the full text is only available for a fee. Be sure to check the Library's collection before you pay for any articles. The article might be available for free through one of the Library's databases.