Google for research: Why you can’t only use Google for papers
Last Updated: Aug 14, 2019 Views: 25

While it may be tempting to do so, for the following reasons, you shouldn’t rely on Google for your academic research:

  • Google is a search engine not a source. The information boxes that can appear at the top of the results are pulled from other websites and are not necessarily accurate.
  • Results mix free and for-fee materials. You may find an article that looks relevant but be unable to access it without purchasing it. 
  • You would have to evaluate which resources are appropriate. Google does not screen for credibility, so you would have to evaluate each source yourself. 
  • Popular items listed first. 
  • Required materials may not be included in search results. Google actually “searches” only about 20% of the web.
  • Some disciplines require specific academic resources that are not available via Google.

Related FAQs

    Ask The Library

    Need More Help?

    Do you need to talk to library staff? All campus libraries offer brief research consultation and search help during business hours. Contact us in one of the following ways and we will answer within 24 hours during the business work week:

    By Online Form


    By Live Chat

    • Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm

    By One-on-One Appointments

    • Students: research support in the form of advice or assistance. Please have a copy of your assignment or research notes with you to share with the reference staff.
    • Faculty: Curate resources for your online teaching from Library subscribed content. Learn how to use Open Educational Resources (OER) to find, share and adapt material for your online courses or receive guidance with copyright.

    Book Your Appointment