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E 314: Texts and Contexts, Eric Mallin

Google vs. The Library

Google vs. The Library

Which option is better, Google or the library?

Well, both! When doing academic research, there isn't a one-size-fits all solution.

When using Google for course research, you will probably encounter information paywalls – articles, books, journals, and other publications that require a monetary fee to view or download.

Why is this? Some publications, like magazines and newspapers, pay a large number of staff: reporters, fact-checkers, researchers, and editors, while trying to make a profit. Scholarly journals are often more expensive than newspapers and magazines because their subscription base is smaller, and their audience is more niche. Some publishers of scholarly journals (Elsevier, Taylor & Francis, and Springer) make huge profits, mostly off universities and libraries. 

Never pay for an article! The Libraries here at UT pay for subscriptions to expensive scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines, and more. By using the library website and logging in with your EID and password, you'll get access to this content (as opposed to just using Google on its own). If we don't have a subscription to the journal or newspaper that you need, we can get articles through Get A Scan (also know as interlibrary loan). 

Some questions to think about––

  • Why is information (articles, publications, news) monetized? 
  • What labor goes into creating information and publishing it? 
  • Why are some types of information more expensive than others (A Medium post versus a New York Times article)? Does cost automatically indicate value? 
  • Who is left out because of the monetization of information? 

Get Help from the Libraries

When you're searching for sources for this class, you are not alone! Library staff can help, whether you use Google or the library website. 

  • Research consultations: Gina Bastone, the English Librarian, is available for one-on-one research consultations. She can help you find articles and books on your chosen topic. Email her to set up an appointment: g.bastone@austin.utexas.edu
  • Live chat: Use the Ask A Librarian chat service to get help in real-time to track down articles and citations. 
  • Get A Scan: We can't subscribe to every journal or newspaper, and we can't buy every book. But, we can get PDFs from other schools through a service called Get A Scan.

 

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