Different databases provide access to different types of information. It is important to know the nature of your topic so you can select the best database for locating information to enhance your presentation. Some databases, such as Academic Search Complete, are more general in nature - covering a variety of topics.
Not enough search results, try broadening your search:
Example: Prayer OR Healing (searches for either term)
Prayer OR Heal* (captures any form of the word, "heal, healing, heals, healed")
Too many results, try narrowing your search:
Example: Prayer AND Healing
(Prayer AND heal*) AND Christ* (captures any form Christian, Christianity, etc.)
Also, consider specific terms for topics:
Example: Education (use terms like: instruction, pedagogy, teachers, students, lessons, college, elementary, etc.)
Religion (use terms like: Bible, theology, Christianity, Islam, "sacred practices", clergy, pastor, minister, etc.)
Business (use terms like: leadership, economics, entrepreneurship, etc.)
Computer Science/Engineering (use terms like: "artificial intelligence," "programming language," robotics, etc.)
So, what's the difference? Google is a mass collection of digital resources: personal, commercial, government, and academic. Many of these resources are not suitable for use in an academic context.
Google Scholar is a subset of the academic content found on Google. When you are on-campus Google Scholar results automatically display a link if the library has access to a particular article. However, if you are off-campus use instructions in the link below to do a one-time setup of Google Scholar on your home computer or device.
Some databases, such as ATLA Religion, are subject/discipline-specific - offering access to information/scholarship within a specific subject matter. The list below is a short list of subject-specific databases available through NNU Riley Library. For more, visit the Databases A to Z section of the library's website (Under the Research tab).
Watch this short (2 min., 47 second) video describing the differences between library databases and Web search engines. The video was created by Wellington Medical and Health Sciences Library. For assistance, contact the NNU Riley Library at firstname.lastname@example.org, or chat with us!