Answered By: Arts & Sciences / Philosophy & Theology Liaison Librarian
Last Updated: Jun 12, 2020     Views: 784

Both are search engines that allow you to search across a massive amount of information.  There is some overlap but there is also content in Summon that is not in Google Scholar and vice-versa.

When you use Summon you are searching across everything owned or subscribed to by the University Library - physically in each Library building, as well as all the electronic resources, such as eBooks and journal articles.  One benefit to searching with Summon is the option to refine your search to scholarly and peer reviewed content only.

Google Scholar has benefits too, for example, it is better at figuring out misspelled concepts and names and it has a Cited by feature allowing you to track citations.  However, it's important to be aware of Google Scholar's limitations when it comes to finding the best information for academic assignments, for example, the results are not always scholarly, the advanced search fields are limited, and the preciseness of results matching your search terms can be poor.

The video link below from UBC Library in Canada provides a 2min visual explanation of the differences between Summon, Google Scholar and subject-specific databases.