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Student Research Guide

Select the right tools to find the information you need.

I need an article...

What is a database anyway?


noun  da·ta·base \ˈdā-tə-ˌbās, ˈda- also ˈdä-\

 a usually large collection of data organized especially for rapid search and retrieval (as by a computer) <an online database>


Can't I just Google this?

There is a difference between "searching" and "researching."

In college, you are expected to research your topic, not just complete a passive Google search. Research requires you to actively think about your topic and find the words that best fit your topic. Learning to use databases will turn you into a researcher and critical thinker. 

In Google, the information you find may not be reliable or accurate. Using databases helps you find the information you need without you having to do all the thinking. The companies who create databases go through the information and find the most reliable articles for your research.

Also, in databases you will find academic or scholarly sources. These can also be called peer reviewed. Instructors will often ask for these types of articles. It is easy to search for these types of articles in databases and will increase your level of research. More information about the different types of articles is found in the Scholarly vs. Popular tab.

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