Recently I was researching for a paper, but the results of my research got me reflecting on my habits:
Is is at all appropriate for me to use Google (partly also Google Scholar) for academic research, just because I have good experiences with it in my personal, non-professional environment? I noticed I feel slightly too comfortable in sourcing material via Google. As expected, the quality of the resulting materials is "bad", in the sense that the sources I happen to find are rarely journal articles and often chronically difficult to cite. Of course for many topics this is a non-issue, but for my current topic, a lot of government, international institution and NGO content was "on-topic" and needed, so that is how the situation came about in the first place.
While I definitely won't use Wikipedia or (online) newspapers, but I also came across e.g. OECD content: while the content itself is strong and academically valid, by now I sadly had to discard a significant part of it, also because I initially didn't (exclusively) use their "iLibrary". Specifically: The amount of time I had to spend trying to find e.g. the author of such non-journal content (and other source-data), trying to decide if I should invest my time into reading and citing the content vs. discarding it and that I have to enter bibliographic data by hand for such content make me tired.
Thus my thought is: Should I intentionally, sternly refrain/refuse to use (and of course cite) any materials that doesn't carry a DOI, ISBN or ISSN? There is still a lot of grey literature, manuscripts, working papers etc. and web content out there... My current frustration is so large that I seriously consider such a strict stance going forward, but I fear that I might miss out on crucial facts and that omitting such publication will affect the credibility and well-roundedness of my paper(s)?
In the age of Google I am very happy that academic standards are in place, compared to the lack of cite-ability etc. in documents published by NGO's, think tanks, policy institutes and some governments.