Search Engines and Databases

Google is the most commonly known search tool

Google is possibly the most ordinary tool for starting information retrieval. However, one must be critical of the quality of information found through it. Google is capable of finding many kinds of material, many of which do not qualify as sources for scientific work.  However, searching from Google may provide you with a general idea of the topic and help you move forward.

Databases for scientific information

Research information is sought from databases, which are constantly updated collections of scientific publications in a certain field (narrow or broad). These are often called bibliographic, reference, and or library databases.

The more thorough and systematic your search needs to be, the more evident it is that you need to search specifically from the field’s (article, reference) database. For example, for systematic overviews the information retrieval must always include multiple article databases.

Databases feature better limiting functions than the different versions of Google. In databases it is also possible to confirm the information on the sources taken to the database, as well as the criteria for their selection: databases often include listings of the scientific journals whose articles are in the database, and the criteria for selecting publications may be disciplinary-specific.

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UEF Primo can help you to find databases. Databases can be found by typing their name or its part into Primo’s search field and accessing the database’s website from the link in Primo’s record. Be sure to log in to UEF Primo to get wider access!

Artificial Intelligence in Information Retrieval

Artificial intelligence (AI) has recently made its way into public discourse through easy-to-use chat bots such as ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot. These conversational AIs are based on generative language models. Language models are built on great masses of text (Large Language Model, LLM).