All of Penn's research databases are accessed through the physical library or the Library Web. Most of these resources are paid for by the Library and provided to students free of charge. Because library databases contain mostly scholarly information and are designed to allow convenient searching of scholarly topics, they are very well suited for scholarly research.
The public Web includes information on the Web that can be accessed at no cost, including sites that can be accessed with search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Because anyone can place a site on the public Web, only a small percentage of the information available is appropriate for scholarly research (see Penn's Web evaluation tutorial for help evaluating public Web sites).
Library vs. Public Databases:
Content: Library Databases vs. Public Web
Features: Library Databases vs. Public Web