Frequently asked questions 6 – What do we need all these databases for when we have Google?


  • What is the purpose of all the different databases when there is Google?
  • Why should I learn to search different databases and portals when I could just Google it?
  • Why is not Google enough?

Some answers:

  • The Internet has improved the availability of information and publications. Search engines like Google make searching easy but do they also make finding easy when a search result is counted in millions?
  • The large amount of information and its diversity make it difficult to find the right information.
  • The quality and level of the information a search engine can find is varied – anything from discussion forums to scholarly publications and from advertisement to encyclopedias. There is no quality control.
  • Information on the Internet is scattered in bits and pieces, and not organized in a comprehensive way like in the subject databases.
  • The search result of Google is random and different in different situations and for different searchers, and not systematic or reproducible.
  • In the Internet, anyone can present oneself as an expert. There is necessarily no peer review before publication.
  • All information is not in the Internet – at least not for free.

google upside down

By: Tuulevi Ovaska, Head of Services, Kuopio University Hospital Medical Library, University of Eastern Finland Library