Search Engine vs E-Library: Which Source Provides the Most Accurate Information?

Living in the online age of instant gratification, there is a high tendency among students to rely on search engines for their information needs – especially in those universities where there is no e-library available for the researchers to access! However, this practice is suboptimal from the viewpoint of academic research on grounds of both efficiency and accuracy in research.

DeepKnowledge Blog on Search Engines vs E-Library

Search engines such as Google, Bing etc. are widely popular among all Internet users as they help to quickly scan the large chunk of information available on the Internet. Using the computer algorithms, these gateways offer an agile mechanism to find out if the information of interest exists on the Web, and are great for gathering quick details about a source or an author.  However, relying on instant information solely from these search engines is not an optimal approach from the view-point of excellence in academic research.

In this blog, we look at the main reasons why information from search engines must not be used as a substitute for those from an e-Library, but rather only to complement it where needed.

Why Should Researchers Prefer E-library Over Search Engine?

1. Authenticity of Information

Since most of the information on the Internet is open source, quality control of the information becomes a big problem. Misinformation in search engine results is quite common as anyone can publish their own website, and have it indexed depending on how well they manage to take care of their search engine optimization. These days, there are peer-reviewed or published scholarly resources available in search engines but they’re mainly paid resources that students are unable to access due to lack of subscriptions. Hence, relying on that information downplays the authenticity of the academic research significantly.

In that context, e-libraries form a very dependable source of information. They only include vetted information from well-known universities, journals, research groups, magazines, e-books etc. This ensures that any information coming from them is accurate and confirms to the required benchmarks. Moreover, the source of the information in e-libraries is clearly identifiable and doesn’t ever disappear overnight as is possible in case of any site on the Internet. This helps preserve academic integrity.

2. Lack of Organized Structure

Since the search engines are not specifically designed to cater to Academic research needs, there is no unified repository that catalogs and organizes all the resources available on a given subject. The search results merely depend on the combination of keywords entered, and may not always fetch results relevant to the topic –leading to wasted time and confusion.

E-libraries on the other hand are extremely organized. At a glance, they provide a thorough understanding of the information that is available in their database on a relevant topic right from classifying it to articles, published studies or e-books.

Moreover, since all the information in the e-library is accessible to the students unlike guarded resources on the Internet, they offer an efficient mechanism to do quality research for specific academic assignments.

3. Poor Efficiency of Research

While search engines do provide quick access to information when one doesn’t need very narrow or specific content, the databases in e-libraries are much more dependable from the efficiency standpoint.

Most e-library search features include federated search that provide very precise search filtering options. These may take a few minutes extra as compared to search engines to fetch results but they limit the search results to specific attributes requested such as industry, time periods etc. This makes search results very specific. Moreover, all content on the Internet may not be full text and searchable, unlike the case in e-libraries. This makes them much more efficient to use for pursuing research objectives.

In the absence of an e-library in the university, students and researchers have the tendency to refer to the Web more than they should. As a result, the quality of their academic input and output is significantly impacted. At DeepKnowledge ™, we provide a cost-effective and efficient solution for universities to launch their e-libraries instantly and maximize the benefit to their researches. Find out more by contacting us.

The new Dashboard

With the new Dashboard, you can now visualize all your critical KPI’s, monitor usage and visitor traffic, analyze trends, view important alerts and notifications

  • Visualize important indicators such as the number of logins, access to content and or registrations across a period of time. Compare with the past month or year, select only the resources or user groups you are interested in and turn data into insights
  • A multitude of charting options and types is available for you to choose from in order to provide you with the most accurate graphic representation of your library data
  • Use the Keyword clouds in order to quickly identify the most important study subjects and search terms your library users are interested in
  • Monitor your MailBlast™ campaigns performance, see the number of opens/clicks in real-time, get insights on the quality of your users email base and deliverability index
  • Know where your visitors and users are coming from and compare usage across mobile apps versus web. Turns traffic data into real insights, identify the most popular posts and pages on your e-library site
  • DeepKnowledge™ Smart Print Manager allows you to control the entire print circulation workflow in an easy way. Populate your collection by importing MARC records or entering identifiers, your books meta-data is automatically recognized and imported into your database and becomes instantly available for users to loan out/in. For more information on your circulation statistics, you can head to the Print reports in order to get the most useful insights about your print collection usage