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Information Literacy for History Courses: Searching


Information Literacy for History Courses: Searching

Library Databases

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Why not Google Scholar?

Often when discussing information literacy, students (and even faculty) bring up tools like Google Scholar or Wikipedia and they say that these sorts of sites help them in their search.

You can still use these sites, but always remember the following:

  1. Not everything on the internet is true
    • Wikipedia can often be biased, lacking in references to substantiate their claims, or otherwise just plain wrong. Feel free to use it, but do so with caution (and extend this criticism to scholarly sources as well!)
  2. Paywalls exist
    • Google Scholar can be a great way to apply the Google search function to your research, but it may not show you everything that's available. If you use our library website to access databases you get to take advantage of our proxy giving you access to thousands of articles and other sources that may otherwise be behind paywalls via Google Scholar.
  3. You might be missing out on some top choice information
    • Quantity does not equate to quality. Just because the search is easy, doesn't mean its comprehensive. A great search often has multiple layers. Dig deeper.
  4. There's plenty of equally "easy to access" sources, you just have to find them!
    • The library search functions may be less intuitive than a simple search on Wikipedia or Google Scholar, but they can yield much better quality results, introduce more authoritative works/authors, and with time and practice they become easier to use.

Your Librarian

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Rachel Motes
Carnegie-Vincent Library
Lincoln Memorial University
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752


We have over 7,000 physical history texts available at our library. 


There are thousands of ebooks accessible to you via our catalog. View the video below for instructions on how to access ebooks yourself.