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Library Information for International Students

This guide contains helpful information for international students about using Galvin Library.

Free Internet vs. Library Database

Library Databases 

(e.g., Academic Search Complete IEEE Xplore)

 Internet Search Engines

(e.g. Google & Bing)

Types of Information Retrieved
  • Scholarly journal articles
  • Magazine articles
  • Newspaper articles
  • Conference papers, Ph.D. dissertations
  • Ebooks
  • Everything published on the open and indexed web.
  •  Commercial sites (.com or .net); educational sites (.edu); governmental sites  (.gov); organizations’ sites (.org); individual sites (.com, .net)
  • Few free scholarly journal articles and books
 When to Use
  • Best for college level research.
  • Best for academic research.
  • When you need to find credible information quickly.
  • When you are writing a research paper.
  • Best for entertainment.
  • Best for non-academic and general searches.
  • A good place to start when you are doing research: get a main idea of your topic, and related terms.
  • Information need to be evaluated.
  • Scholars
  • Researchers
  • Professionals
  • Anyone
  • Content is evaluated for accuracy and credibility by subject experts, researchers and publishers.
  • Content is reviewed and recommended by faculty and librarians.
  • Full text of articles is free to IIT students, faculty, and staff.
  • Go to library website to access databases.
  • Library databases subscriptions are paid by the library.
  • Information is often free.
  • Many web sites found through Internet search engines contain licensedproprietary information and require you to log on with a user account.  
  • More control over your results: user can specify advanced search criteria; full text, date, scholarly, format, etc.
  • Databases usually include a citation tool to automatically create a citation for the article.
  • Millions of search results: not organized 
  • Lack of subject focus results in irrelevant.
  • No citation tool available.

Most frequently asked question

   Can’t I just Google the same information?

You may not be able to find it. Most scholarly information is NOT free in Google. Google or Google scholar does not link to all of the articles in the library's online databases. You may be missing out on a huge collection of scholarly resources.

Google or Google Scholar is a great place to start doing research. You can get a general idea of your topic, and find some related terms. But if you are doing in-depth research or a literature review, use the library's databases.