Google is a great Internet search engine when looking for a specific information. However, beware that it does bring up a lot of irrelevant information such as adverts, inappropriate webpages and inaccessible resources.
Google Scholar is a freely available resource to help you search for scholarly material from around the world such as journal articles, conference papers, theses and books across all subject areas. It is very easy to use and has an advanced search option which allows you to specify particular authors, journals or date ranges when searching. What’s more if you are searching from on the University of Birmingham campus or are logged into Findit you will be able to access full text articles directly from the search results.
However, Google Scholar does have a few weaknesses including its tendency to search primarily for information from the medical, scientific and technical subject areas, and the fact that it does not reveal its sources.
So, in order to carry out a comprehensive search of the literature it is best not to just rely on this source but to search other peer-reviewed databases such as Medline, Cinahl, or the Health Management Information Consortium database (HMIC).
Wikipedia is a great place to start looking for information around a topic area. However, you do need to exercise some degree of caution when using Wikipedia as its content can be contributed, or changed by anyone at any time meaning that the information contained within it might not be accurate, comprehensive or impartial.
So, when using Wikipedia it is always a good idea to both corroborate any information you find from an alternative authoritative source, and follow up some of its article references to check that they do support what is being claimed.