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Database VS. Search Engine Explore the difference between database* and search results *You will need the password for the Virtual Reference Collection.

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Presentation on theme: "Database VS. Search Engine Explore the difference between database* and search results *You will need the password for the Virtual Reference Collection."— Presentation transcript:

1 Database VS. Search Engine Explore the difference between database* and search results *You will need the password for the Virtual Reference Collection (VRC) to complete the Database portion of this activity Next

2 A Database Is... A collection of information that has already been evaluated by experts for accuracy, credibility, reliability and currency. I n other words, it is a collection of information you can trust to use in your research. You still need to decide: If you are the audience for the information and If the information helps you to answer your research question. Next

3 The collection in a database tends to be grouped by category such as history, science, periodicals, scholarly works, etc. The information you locate using a database is not likely to be found using a search engine because it is dynamic. This means the information is found within the database and requires a living, breathing, thinking person to enter search terms in order to search the information contained in the database's collection. Results will vary each time you search because databases are updated regularly and new information is constantly being added. In addition, your search terms affect the results.

4 Next A Search Engine Is... A software program that searches the Internet based on keyword(s) entered by the user and returns ranked results relating to the keyword(s). In other words, enter a word or words into the search box and get instant results. Or do you... The results from a search engine have not been evaluated for accuracy, credibility, reliability, and currency. You have no way of knowing if the information you have located is “good” information. So...you need to take time and evaluate the information before you use it.

5 Next There are different types of search engines Common search engines are the search engines that you are familiar with to like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. They search using programs that automatically “crawl” the Internet. Users can then search the information found by the “crawlers.” Meta-search engines search multiple common search engines at once. For instance, Mamma searches Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others and brings back results from all of the search engines it searches.

6 Next Activity Pretend you are conducting research for a project on the effects of media on politics. You are going to look at 2 different databases and compare the results to the results from 2 search engines to see if you can use the information you locate for your project.

7 Next Databases The first database you will go to in order to locate information for your project is the SIRS Researcher. This database can be found in the History/Geography section of the Virtual Reference Collection or VRC.VRC When you click on SIRS Researcher or any database from the VRC you will be directed to the login screen If you need the username and password for the VRC please ask at the reference/circulation desk.

8 Next Once you have logged in to SIRS Researcher, type “media” and “politics” into the search box. It is not necessary to include the quotation marks in your search. Make sure you check the “full text document only” box so you will be able to immediately read the articles you locate. Review your results. Notice how you can narrow your results by source type. Click on a result that seems to be useful for your project and read it. Notice how you can search the subjects related to the result you selected to help you conduct your research smoothly.

9 Next Next you will look at the Proquest Platinum database. This database is located under the Reference section of the VRC.VRC You will need the username and password to login.

10 Next Once you have logged in to Proquest Platinum, type “media” and “politics” into the search box. It is not necessary to include the quotation marks in your search. Review your results. Notice that you are given multiple suggestions to narrow your results. Choose a suggested topic and narrow your search. Select and article that you think would help you with your project and click on it. Notice that you can search the subjects related to the article you are reading.

11 Search Engines First you are going to use Google the most popular search engine among Internet users throughout the world. (according to Alexa.com) Go to and search for “media and politics” be sure to include the quotation marks because you want to search for the phrase “media and politics.” Without the quotation marks the individual words will be searched and you will receive too many results.www.google.com Next

12 Click on the first result that contains a website address and is not a sponsored link (this is what most students do when using search engines). Look at the information on the site. Make sure you evaluate the website by asking yourself Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How (see the website evaluation module for more information on how to evaluate a website).website evaluation Could you use this information for your project? Why or Why not? How much time did it take you to determine whether or not the information was “good information” and could be used from your project? Take note of the first five results. Next

13 Search Engines Next you are going to use Dogpile one of the best meta-search engines. Go to and search for “media and politics.” remember to include the quotation marks so you get the results you are looking for.www.dogpile.com Note the first five results. Next

14 This time look at the results on the first page. Begin your evaluation here. Select a website based on the summary information and website address (URL). Do not select the same site you evaluated in Google or a sponsored link (Dogpile identifies search engine ads in gray at the end of the website summary). Look at the information on the site. Make sure you evaluate the website by asking yourself Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How (see the website evaluation module for more information on how to evaluate a website).website evaluation Could you use this information for your project? Why or Why not? How much time did it take you to determine whether or not the information was “good information” and could be used from your project? Next

15 How did the search engine results compare? ● Did Google and Dogpile give you the same results? ● Were they in the same order? ● Did you like how the results look? ● Which search engine was easier to use? Why? Databases vs. Search Engines ● How did the results from the search engines compare to the results from the databases? ● Which information was more trust worthy? ● Did you spend more time locating information with the databases or the search engines? ● Do you think you could find more “good information” for your project using search engines or databases? Next

16 Just for fun Try these side by side comparisons of search engines to see how results differ among the most popular search engines YahoogleYahoogle - compares YAHOO and Google bing & Googlebing & Google – compares bing and Google Blind SearchBlind Search – compares YAHOO, Google, and bing without telling you which results are which until you decide which result list you like best. These comparisons as well as your own should demonstrate why you need to use more than one search engine to conduct your research. Answer

17 Answer: although many times search results are similar between search engines, each search engine returns results differently and many times there are results that are unique to a particular search engine. END


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