Locate materials

Which tool is most suited to find research or scholarly materials? 
Google, Google Scholar, OneSearch, or Library Databases?

Google vs. Google Scholar vs. OneSearch vs. Databases


  • Search for EVERYTHING online, both scholarly and non-scholarly
  • Usually too many results and it takes time to select

Google Scholar

  • Scholarly version of Google
  • Not all works are peer-reviewed
  • Also too many results and it takes time to select


  • One-stop platform to search for almost all library resources (library catalogue + library subscribed databases)
  • Most resources obtained in OneSearch are scholarly works
  • Resources from specific online databases (such as newspapers, images) cannot be retrieved from OneSearch. You need to go to those individual databases
  • When you conduct a search, you will eventually be directed to the library catalogue (for print materials) or a specific database (for e-resources)
  • The specificity of keywords you choose will affect the accuracy of the results returned. The more specific your keywords are in a field, the lesser number of results returned. Our advise is to play around with a few keywords and evaluate the relevancy of the results returned first.

Library Databases

  • Subject-specific databases are specialized in materials on a particular subject, which saves your time from filtering out the contents that are not relevant to your subject (chick here to see list of databases by subject)
  • Information in these subject-specific databases has been curated by subject professionals