1. - Can't I just use Google and Wikipedia?
This is a perfectly reasonable question which new students often ask. The answer is straightforward:
- Google and Wikipedia can be unreliable, inaccurate and out of date
- They can be difficult to cite and reference properly
- You can miss out on current research which is only available via resources such as specialist databases and journals which the Library subscribes to on your behalf
- You may find a great deal of information that is totally irrelevant to your research topic but which clouds the issues you are investigating
What you can do is use Google and Wikipedia for quick fact checking and to find general information about subjects you are not familiar with, but remember to always thoroughly evaluate the information you retrieve; at the very least you should use or to search for academic information, but don’t rely on these as your only search tools - many academic journals do not allow Google Scholar to search their contents.
There are much quicker and smarter ways of searching for the academic information you need. We provide a few pointers here that will help you on your way to becoming highly competent in finding and handling information - start developing your research expertise immediately by working through these pages.
Need help or advice about anything on this page? Contact the T&LS Team