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Research 101: Using Library Resources

Information on the research process.

Why Use Library Resources?

Library databases offer a more organized information access system than search engines like Google. Databases offer superior searching capabilities and make it easier to evalute sources. The table below identifies some of the strengths of library databases and search engines.


Library Databases

Search Engines

General Information

Looking up specific facts


Most up-to-date information on developing news


Numerous options to narrow or modify a search to find relevant information


Identifying source types (book, newspaper, journal, etc.)


Finding up-to-date scholarly information


Identifying authors/creators and their qualifications


Identifying edited and reviewed sources


Identifying purpose of a source (informative, persuasive, commercial, etc.)


Providing an open forum for expressing opinions


What are the Library Databases and Which One Should I Use?

NEIU Library (1:23)

Google and Library Resources Video

Search engines like Google work for some purposes, but for academic projects library databases are more efficient and productive tools.

NEIU Ron Williams Library

Using the Library's Quick Search

On the library's home page use the Quick Search option to access PRIMO Discovery Service.  Quick Search searches a number of the library's databases simultaneously. Results will include records for books, articles, ebooks and other source types.

General Databases

General databases cover many topic areas and are excellent resources for undergraduate research. Two general databases available through Briggs Library are listed below.


Looking for a specific journal? Use the FIND A JOURNAL option on the library's home page. Enter the title of the newspaper, magazine, or journal to find out whether the library has access in print or online and the dates of our coverage.

Off Campus Assess to Briggs Library

Use your SDSU credentials to access Briggs Library databases from off-campus locations:

Subject-Specific Databases

Briggs Library provides access to over 200 databases. General databases cover a broad range of topics. Other library databases limit their coverage to certain topic areas. These are valuable for in-depth and scholarly research. Consult the library's Research Guides to identify recommended databases in your subject area. Below are just a few examples of subject-specific databases.

LibGuides Footer; South Dakota State University; Brookings, SD 57007; 1-800-952-3541