So, I guess you feel pretty good about using library databases instead of a Web search engine, right Quentin?
Yes, the librarian explained to me that the Internet has led to a huge increase in the amount of information available and that you can often find useful material for research from Web sites. However, for the purposes of research, it lacks the credibility of established publications, or that librarians provide when choosing materials for their library. Plus, as a UMUC student I can get access to resources for free through the databases that I either couldn't find on the Internet, or I would have to pay for if I weren't a student.
For searching the Internet, he also advised me to keep in mind that in addition to Google and Yahoo!, there are specialized search engines that may be more appropriate for specific types of research, such as Scirus, a science-specific search engine, and USAGov, which indexes government information only.
Mike also mentioned that it is important to remember to always evaluate anything that you find on regardless of whether you found it in a database or on the internet.
Why would someone need to do that?
Because some Web sites are out-of date, biased, or inaccurate, it is crucial that people doing research on the Internet learn how to critically evaluate the material they find. The Search the Web and Evaluate Resources guide on the UMUC Library page gave me a checklist to follow.