Question: What is the purpose of searching Catalyst when I could just as easily use a database or search engine that I know and love?
A lot of students start their searches with a general topic but not much else (unlike professors and other experts, who might have a specific author or work in mind, or know what the disciplinary terms are). Catalyst is designed to let searchers cast their nets in a big sea where they are likely to encounter useful results right away, without necessarily needing to be expert searchers yet.
While Google Scholar is an excellent tool that most of us (librarians and faculty) use frequently, Catalyst searches a more selective group of resources based on the library’s collections. Catalyst also provides more options for refining searches. Catalyst blends the library’s physical holdings with an online universe of articles, so searchers can start their research in one place.