Answered By: APUS Librarians
Last Updated: Jun 05, 2023     Views: 22649


Search engines search the entire world wide web.  Most search engines are commercial ventures whose income depends on the ads appearing above the search results and the clicks, as well as on the user data collected.  Search engines, like Google and Bing, index only a small part of the web content, the rest (the so-called invisible web or deep web) is beyond the reach of search engine. 

Now that so many books, journals, magazines and newspapers are being published on the internet, your favorite search engine can also dig up information to help you in your college classes.  But, since publishers still need to make a living, books or articles that you come across via a search engine may not be free.  And, it's often surprisingly hard to tell which websites are appropriate for college-level research.



The library's databases were made especially for college-level research:  they search collections of journals, magazines, newspapers, ebooks (and more!) -- often focused on a particular subject.  They also give you, as an AMU or APU student, quick full-text access to hundreds of thousands of subscription-only journals and ebooks. 

Only a small part of the information on the web is within the reach of search engines. The rest is located in the invisible web, the deep web, whose contents are not indexed by search engines. The deep web includes services that require registration, for example licensed academic databases.  These resources allow you to take advantage of powerful limiting options that allow you to specify exactly what you're searching for (source type, peer-reviewed, popular, publication date, etc.).



Library Databases

Search Engines

What you're searching:  

Sources published by well-known publishing companies, universities, research groups, etc.  -- such as:

Each of our databases is different.  Click here to read a brief description of each.

Anything and everything that is "out there" on the internet -- both good and bad -- such as:

  • personal/social networking/entertainment sites
  • popular (but unedited) information sites, such as Wikipedia
  • government sites
  • educational sites
  • company/product sites
  • news
  • advertisements
  • publisher websites -- but most of these will not allow full access to their articles, ebooks, etc. without a subscription

Where to begin?

See some tips here. Everyone has their favorite search've probably got yours bookmarked already.

Full text available?

Yes!  Because the library pays for subscriptions to these databases, most of your search results will be available to read (and often download) immediately. 

Click here to learn how to limit your searches to full text only.

It depends.  There are a growing number of open access scholarly sites out there, but many publishers still require subscriptions to access their content. 

When to use:

  • Best for college level research.

  • When you need to find credible information quickly.

  • When you have time to carefully evaluate your results, and/or track down articles that are not available for free.
  • For personal use, of course.

How to find help:



Wondering why we have so many databases in the APUS Library? Click here to find out.


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