Use Google Scholar: Library Databases vs. Google Scholar

Like searching Google? Want to try Google Scholar? Use these tips when searching Google Scholar for articles!

How Google Scholar Can Help You

Google Scholar: 

  • is easy to search if you are familiar with the Google search engine
  • provides some basic and advanced search options, like a database
  • attempts to help you find the most useful scholarly resources by ranking articles in order of relevance
  • you can search a specific article title in Google Scholar to see how many times it has been cited
  • provides direct access to full text of articles if they are available for free online
  • can link to library catalogs (including the HCC Library catalog), helping you find resources within your own library and beyond

Why a Database Might Be a Better Choice than Google Scholar

Library Databases Google Scholar
• Provide the ability to focus search by subject area. • Does not have the ability to focus search by subject area.
• Allow users to sort results according to date and relevance. • Does not have an easy way to sort articles in your results list.
• Allow users to sort results by type of material (academic journal, magazine, newspaper, etc). • Does not clearly specify what type of material (academic journal, magazine, newspaper, etc) is in the results list.
• Contain the ability to limit searches by a variety of criteria • Does not have full criteria to limit your search results.
• Will never charge you for the full text of an article if the HCC Library has a subscription to that database • Provides full text of some electronic articles but is not as helpful in tracking down print articles. Some articles may be available for a fee.