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COMM 1210 (Introduction to Public Speaking)

A guide for COMM 1210 (Intro to Public Speaking)

Library Database vs. Web Search Engines

Watch this short (2 min., 47 second) video describing the differences between library databases and Web search engines. The video was created by Wellington Medical and Health Sciences Library. For assistance, contact the NNU Riley Library at, or chat with us!

Google & Google Scholar

So, what's the difference? Google  is a mass collection of digital resources: personal, commercial, government, and academic. Many of these resources are not suitable for use in an academic context.

Google Scholar is a subset of the academic content found on Google. When you are on-campus Google Scholar results automatically display a Full Text @ Riley Library link if the library has access to a particular article. However, if you are off-campus use instructions in the link below to do a one-time setup of Google Scholar on your home computer or device.

Google Scholar Search 




Database Search Hints

Not enough search results, try broadening your search:

Example: Prayer OR Healing (searches for either term)

                Prayer OR Heal* (captures any form of the word, "heal, healing, heals, healed")

Too many results, try narrowing your search:

Example: Prayer AND Healing

                (Prayer AND heal*) AND Christ* (captures any form Christian, Christianity, etc.)

Also, consider specific terms for topics:

Example: Education (use terms like: instruction, pedagogy, teachers, students, lessons, college, elementary, etc.)

                Religion (use terms like: Bible, theology, Christianity, Islam, "sacred practices", clergy, pastor, minister, etc.)

                Business (use terms like: leadership, economics, entrepreneurship, etc.)

                Computer Science/Engineering (use terms like: "artificial intelligence," "programming language," robotics, etc.)



General/Multidisciplinary Databases

Different databases provide access to different types of information. It is important to know the nature of your topic so you can select the best database for locating information to enhance your presentation. Some databases, such as Academic Search Complete, are more general in nature - covering a variety of topics. 

Subject Specific Databases

Some databases, such as ATLA Religion, are subject/discipline-specific - offering access to information/scholarship within a specific subject matter. The list below is a short list of subject-specific databases available through NNU Riley Library. For more, visit the Databases A to Z section of the library's website.