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Research Guides@Tufts

EBVM Search Guide: Medline or Google Scholar?

Resources to support database searching.

Where to search... Medline or Google Scholar?

There are many places to begin your database search. And with every database, there are pros and cons to consider. Here is a quick comparison of Google Scholar and Medline.

Google Scholar pros:

  • enormous amounts of data on all kinds of topics
  • find full text articles in the Tufts’ collections quickly
  • focuses search of Google’s content to scholarly resources
  • features: find in a library; import citations into EndNote or another bibliographic management tool.

Google Scholar cons:

  • source of content is unknown
  • must follow a link to see a complete citation (it takes time to click through and back again)
  • lacks sophisticated database search features that assist the research process (limit to publication date or language, precise field searching)

Medline pros:

  • create precise search strategies
  • database search features assist with alternate spelling, word endings and author searches
  • view complete citations and abstracts making it easier to determine if an article is relevant
  • create strategies that are automatically updated monthly and sent to your email
  • features: limit to language, date or publication type; import multiple citations into a bibliographic management tool efficiently; cover-to-cover indexing of major journals

Medline cons:

  • not as easy to use as Google Scholar
  • includes predominately journal literature; doesn't index the "gray" literature, book chapters, or many conference proceedings