A simple Google search for a topic phrase may produce thousands of results, not in order of their academic level! Consider who may have the information you need and go there directly: for instance, a Government website for statistics on Australian society, or a medical research charity for research reports on a specific pharmaceutical trial. Try Google Scholar or databases to source journal articles. (Adapted from University of Reading)
Why can't I just google it?
This video has been created by LaTrobe University Library. Although it addresses university students, it is just as relevant to us (although we are not always looking for peer-reviewed articles, but we are always looking for authoritative information.)
Pros and cons of Google search:
Pros of Google: Google is free and easy to use. Advanced Search allows you to refine your results.
Pros of Google Scholar: Google Scholar includes peer reviewed content, although some results are behind a paywall. Results include citations and references.
Cons of Google: Google search results can be overwhelming and therefore confusing. You will have to evaluate the results for relevance and credibility. In addition, since Google benefits from advertising, be careful to recognise the ads which are at the top of the search results. You will have to evaluate your results.
Cons of Google Scholar: Not everything is freely accessible in full-text.