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EIN 6215 - System Safety Engineering and Management: Library Database a Better Choice than Google Scholar?

Library Databases

Pro:

Subscription databases are human-curated databases. 

Ability to focus search by subject area.

Data about each article is entered into the database in a uniform structured way.

Sort results according to date, relevance, etc.

Sort results by type of material (academic journal, magazine, newspaper, etc.)

Limit searches using multiple criteria.

Access to full text articles that UCF subscribes to.

Export multiple citations at a time.

Individual subscription is expensive so cost is absorbed by the library.    

Google Scholar

Pro:

Searches academic websites (.edu) as well as journals, publisher websites, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.

Search results can include PowerPoint presentations, news, and announcements, thesis or unpublished materials as well as articles and books.

Con:

Hard to determine with 100% accuracy all that Google Scholar searches. Therefore, we do not know the breadth of what Google Scholar is indexing. Consequently, cannot judge the comprehensiveness or completeness of the results of a literature search. Uses built in algorithm.

Cannot focus search by subject area. Cannot easily sort articles in your results list. No full criteria to limit your search results.

Full text availability to some electronic articles but not helpful in tracking down print articles.

Doesn't handle variant spellings of author names or journal titles. Exporting citations done one at a time.

Results may include articles of poor quality or even predatory journals.    

Predatory Journal Search Example