Scholarly or popular ?
Some databases contain popular as well as scholarly content. Depending on your needs, you may want to limit results to just scholarly content. You can...
- choose a resource that only contains it
- if using a resource with mixed content, limit to the scholarly material
- what you should know
Research is as credible as the work that goes into it! It's important to analyze the information you find, including where it comes from.
- critical analysis of sources (via Cornell University Library)
While a library database lists results from sources known to be reputable/scholarly, finding material via Google requires additional evaluation.
Properly citing sources is an important part of your research. It allows you to avoid plagiarism and highlights your engagement with related scholarship.
In a nutshell: "Whenever you quote or base your ideas on another person's work, you must document the source you used. Even when you do not quote directly from another work...."
The above extract is taken from the Library's guide to citing sources. The guide gives an overview of this topic and links to formatting rules for the major citation styles.
Shortcut: many databases provide a Cite feature or the option to email results in a variety of citation styles (MLA, APA, etc.)