Google is a very helpful tool - but sometimes it's not the right tool for the job.
Databases and websites devoted to one topic offer special tools and features that general services like Google cannot. IMDB offers much more information on movies than Google for example.
Google only covers the "free web" and access to most scholarly articles is not free and not all articles are online.
If you rely only on Google for academic research you risk missing relevant and important research in your field.
Google was built to search web pages not research journals, articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, etc.
Academic library tools and databases offer special search features to help you narrow or broaden your searches of research literature. Example features not found in Google: article key words and subjects,author affiliation, year published, etc.
Definition: An eye-witness account - i.e. results are reported for the first time by the authors/researchers.
Types: research articles, conference papers, lab notebooks, proceedings, technical reports, theses and studies.
Definition: A second-hand report - i.e. results are summarized, interpreted, or commented upon by others who were not witnesses or participants.
Types: review articles, encyclopedias, magazine articles and text-books.
The following sites have more information regarding the differences between scholarly and popular sources of information:
Often the hardest part of the research process is getting started. Below are some quick tips to help you out.
Find out what other people have discovered and how they did it.
Narrow down your choices.
The following criteria can be applied to information that you find in books, magazine and journal articles, and websites.
Does your information source pass the C.R.A.P. test?