Google as an Academic Resource
Google vs. Google Books vs. Google Scholar
Google is a basic search engine designed to search the entire World Wide Web. While it is a fine resource to find quick answers and basic information, it is not a good source to use for academic research. The results provided by Google are subject to many external factors that are not ethically regulated such as paid promotion, Google bombing/washing, popular opinion, and many others. For this reason, Google should only be used in class/research for basic information like checking spelling and getting a quick overview a topic before searching for scholarly sources.
For more information about advanced searching in standard Google, please see our Advanced Google Search Research Guide.
Google Books allows you to search the full text of books. In most cases, the entire book is not available online, but Google Books will display brief previews of books on your topic which you can then locate at the UTSA Libraries using Library Quick Search, or purchase from an online seller (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.). Keep in mind that Google Books is not completely comprehensive and does not contain all books.
Search Google Scholar for peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, patents, and court opinions from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and websites. While there is overlap between Google Scholar, Library Quick Search, and individual library databases, it’s helpful to have a variety of research tools in your arsenal. Google Scholar searches many online journals, but is not exhaustive therefore many articles available in the UTSA Libraries’ online databases will not appear in Google Scholar results. By the same token, you may find sources in Google Scholar that aren’t available through the UTSA Libraries. Google Scholar can be a useful tool for research as long as you know when to use it and how to link your UTSA account.