Google scholar and the academic web


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  • QUESTION: Anyone used Google Scholar before?

    Just to get an idea of where we stand with this session.

    Layout of session.

    Latter part of session will look at some free sources available from the wider web which aren’t all included in a Google Scholar search.
  • Getting the most out of Google.

    Example in image: if you get the reference, it is far more likely that the little storm troopers will got lots of information telling them about what droids they are not looking for.

    Google Scholar does cope better with typing in a sentence or question than many academic databases, but as professional researchers it is not the best way of searching and you should be trying more appropriate techniques.
  • AND: duty of care / “duty of care” ; 1.8 million / 65,000 results

    Importance of evaluating your search results:-

    Google Scholar is like an enthusiastic puppy, it will nearly alwasy find you something. It will most likely find you lots of things, and drop them in a pile with what it thinks is most important at the top. But you will never quite be 100% sure why it thinks thta result is the most important, or if in fact it has buried the best results further down the pile.
  • Reason 1 for not typing in a sentence – order and proximity of terms affects search results. Inclusion of unnnecessary words and stopwords could potentially affect results unintentionally.
  • [animations on slide]

    GOOGLE. Shows use of different search tips to narrow down from over 12 million results, to 8 results.

    Phrase searching: reduces number of results by 90% (25% in June 2013)

    Additional keywords: Focusses search, reduces by 40% (75% in June 2013)

    Exclude results: filter out 99% of results

    Limit to UK academic sites: Filters out 90% of results…. Good indicator of range of content covered by Google (note, not perfect as by doing this are filtering out academic blogs, most news coverage etc.)

    Faceted search: Searching a particular part of a document to add focus. In title of document (in part reliant on authors following web standards).
  • AND – the more search terms you include, logically the fewer the number of results as results have to mention all terms.

    Reason 2 for not typing in a sentence - stop words – Google ignores many terms in searches you might enter, meaning entering a sentence or question is often just a waste of time typing… can include: HE, SHE, AT, THE, A, ZERO, DESCRIBED, UPWARDS, LEAST, THIRD (refer to handout).

    NOT – be careful, may remove results which may have been useful and just happened to mention a term in passing, or in reference to something else

    OR - broadens your search
  • Phrase searching – as seen, can have a significant effect. Doesn’t always work (even though Google promote use on their own help pages) but is much better now than was a few years ago

    Intitle – does rely on authors of web pages coding their site properly, and the term you are searching for being the key focus of the document (and not just one of several focuses) but can massively reduce number of results.

    Site limitation - I personally find this useful, but if you wish to search different domains/sites I find it easier to run separate searches, especially given different terminology between countries/regions (eg retardation used far more recently in US healthcare terminology than in the UK, whilst homicide is obviously a US term so if limiting to UK sites will be of less use).

    Synonyms and related terms – useful but difficult to always identify what terms are being searched.

    DEMO: Go to preferences first to make sure fully set up for ConneXions and Endnote. Then display advanced search options (click on down arrow in search box).
    with all of the words electron
    with the exact phrase "liquid helium"
    author: platzman

    Explain citations,

    Come back to ‘versions’ in subsequent slide

    Related articles are based on ‘relevance’ and ‘how similar’ i.e. use own algorithm which we’re not party too. Maximum number 101

    Citation and key word alerts – ‘alert’ in citation, ‘alert’ after searching

    ConneXions works

    Endnote link – change preferences where necessary
  • Mention surprises you might receive with alerts
  • Normal alert…
  • Reasons for why so many more results…

    Open Access Repositories – Do you all know what they are?

    Institutions attempting to keep a draft copy of every article produced by their academics for publication in scholarly journals. The database of these final draft copies is then freely available.

    Items from these institutional repositories are sometimes ‘harvested’ and grouped together by subject in secondary repositories
  • Specific example not just KW

    GS = 47
    WOS = 12
  • Depends what you’re after – may not be too many if doing a broad search or if good with KW searching

    Doesn’t index all databases – don’t think you’ve searched everything. Not good for primary sources e.g. newspaper articles (unless books) and only just starting coverage of ETHoS (even though freely available) from August 2012.

    Inconsistent level of bibliographic information – sometimes basic citation sometimes more. Also doesn’t highlight theses as theses but books Although not all databases are consistent and abstracts often unavailable for older articles or theses appear as books on library catalogue.

    Less developed search options and ability to limit searches - Compare ability to refine searches and reorder results in some of the major databases such as WOK – more of an academic setup

    See example comparison on following slide…
  • Benefits – small time frame so stops bias towards older journals
    Bias to those which publish a lot of review articles as they are more likely to widely cited
    Bias towards Eur and North American – remember only journals in this database and there are few LOTE (languages other than English) in here

  • Demo 4 – Google Scholar citations and metrics

    Start at Google Scholar homepage, and point out links at top (My Citations, Metrics)

    - Click on metrics. Show list of top citing journals, listed by h-index, by language and field of study. Show differences in average citations plus h-index. - Click on Google Scholar to return - Click on My Citations to show log in.
    - Show around screen - From drop-down menu, select add to - Search for Loughlin in ‘search articles’ - Add article (The calf in Bronze Age Cretan art and society), then go to profile to show… then delete and permanently delete from trash.
    - Click on Add again and show how you can add references manually

    Then return to slides to show fleshed out version maintained by author.
  • Mention purpose:-

    - Trialling in Physics of including citation data from profiles.
  • Hidden web
    Even the best search engines can access only about 16% of the available information on the World Wide Web. Therefore 84% of the information is excluded. That 84% has become known as the Invisible Web.
    Invisible Web is 500 times larger than the Surface Web.
    95% of the Invisible Web is publicly accessible information.

    Content found in databases – Database content that is dynamically generated as the result of a query cannot be found by general-purpose search engines. Example: ERIC database, Library catalogs.
    Subscription database content – Fee-based database content is only accessible to those who have subscribed. (Many libraries offer their members free access to subscription databases.) Examples: EBSCOhost databases, LexisNexis Academic.
    Information offered on very content rich websites – General-purpose search engines only partially index very large (deep) websites. The parts of the website that they do not index become part of the Invisible Web. Examples: Library of Congress, U. S. Census Bureau.
    Real time content – Information about events currently taking place may not yet be indexed by general-purpose search engines.
    Formats – Information occurs in various formats, some of which are not indexed by general-purpose search engines. It also takes time for new formats to appear in search engines. Example: podcast
    Sites requiring login authorization – These sites require users to login or identify themselves as having the right to access and use content. Examples: Blackboard, membership sites.
    Sites with interactive content – These sites require information from the user e.g. to fill out a form before they can generate an answer. Examples: Travel direction sites, job hunting sites.
    New content – It may take time for a search engine to find and include new websites and newly added website content.
    Sites that are not linked to by other sites - Search engines index websites by following links from one website to another, if there aren't any links to a site it might not be found or included.
    Sites blocked by Robot Exclusion Protocols

    Abbot George archbishop Canterbury in Google – DNB is indexed, but does not appear high up the search ranking (rarely within first 5-10 pages)
    GS – DNB is not indexed,
    Open wikipedia article (first result on Google) – references to DNB

    Use DNB author Fincham in GS to limit search by author.

    E-books on catalogue and

  • Books: Google Books (taking over the world), Gutenberg Project, Universal Library, Alex catalogue, Gallica –Bibliotheque Nationale, ORB – online reference book for mediaeval studies

    Google Books: sources from two projects: Publishers upload citation info, and direct to purchase site (many with a preview available) / Project to digitise content which has fallen out of copyright and in various public libraries.

    Zetoc: Need subscription to set up alert, accessible via library website.

    JournalTOCs, TICTOCs, My favourite journals similar functions (MFJ over 10,000 journals)

    CiteULike and academic social network for sharing bookmarks, scholarly paper citations etc within broad subject categories.

  • Repositories

    Demo OAIster: music AND protest - Rage from within the machine : protest music, social justice, and educational reform, a collective case study
  • ResearchGate
  • ResearchGate
  • Google scholar and the academic web

    1. 1. Google Scholar Getting the most from search, My Citations and Metrics James Bisset Academic Liaison Librarian (Research Support)
    2. 2. Session outline - Effective searching for Google - Google Scholar (Tips & Tools) - Google Scholar (My Citations, Metrics) - Other academic sources
    3. 3. Part 1 Effective Searching (Getting the most out of Google)
    4. 4. Intelligent Web Searching • What are you looking for? – Breadth or precision – Single document or comprehensive coverage • How are you searching? – Targeted searching • AND is assumed, stopwords are ignored - duty of care = duty AND care • OR, for synonyms • “phrase”, -not, intitle:,, – Evaluate your results
    5. 5. Getting the most out of Google
    6. 6. Getting the most from Google How to search effectively: Tsunami defences assumed ‘AND’ returns results with both terms Property –intellectual excludes all results that include ‘intellectual’ Butterfly OR lepidoptera searches for either of your search terms “early warning system” returns results with exact phrase
    7. 7. Getting the most from Google How to search effectively: intitle:endochronology returns results with term in document title only returns results from specific site/domain 1562..1598 returns results within a range of dates/prices/measurements "Pay the * wage“ wildcard to pick out unknown terms in a phrase ~ghosts returns related terms, eg paranormal, haunted
    8. 8. Part 2 Google Scholar
    9. 9. Google Scholar • Scholarly literature • Articles, theses, books, abstracts or court opinions • Advanced features Citations, related articles, alerts, set up ConneXions off campus, links to Endnote downloads Google Scholar
    10. 10. Demo Google Scholar - settings, citations, versions & alerts
    11. 11. Advantages over library databases • Broader range of resource types e.g. books, journal articles, theses • Information from range of sources e.g. databases, publishers, OA repositories • Simple to search
    12. 12. Disadvantages • Too many results(?) • Less quality control • Coverage: Doesn’t index all publisher content • Inconsistent level of bibliographic information • Some non-academic document types e.g. handbooks • Less developed search options and reduced ability to limit searches
    13. 13. Hands-on • Link to Google Scholar • Set up preferences • Search using advanced search screen • Explore advanced options e.g. alerts • How does it compare with library databases you use? Via Flickr Creative Commons, by © Stuti Sakhalkar. Original available at
    14. 14. Part 3 Google Scholar – My Citations
    15. 15. Google Scholar • Track citations to your publications – Check who is citing your publications. Graph your citations over time. Compute citation metrics. • View publications by colleagues – Keep up with their work. See their citation metrics. • Appear in Google Scholar search results – Create a public profile that can appear in Google Scholar when someone searches for your name.
    16. 16. Demo Google Scholar - My citations - Metrics
    17. 17.
    18. 18. Hands-on • Look at metrics of journals in your discipline • Set up a ‘My citations’ account if you wish (and add publications if you have any) • Continue to search Google Scholar Via Flickr Creative Commons, by © Stuti Sakhalkar. Original available at
    19. 19. The Hidden Web • Search engines can access only about 16% of the available information on the WWW. • Many library databases are not indexed by Google Scholar and other search engines. • If they are, they may not be very visible.
    20. 20. Academic Resources • Books – Google Books, Project Gutenberg, Universal Library, (Access to full text of previews) – COPAC, WorldCat (Identify books in other libraries) • Journal ToCs – ZETOC, JournalTOCs, ticTOCs, My Favourite Journals ,
    21. 21. Academic Resources Open Access and repositories • Institutional: DRO, Durham e-Theses, LSE Online • Subject specific: ArXiv, RePeC, SSRN, Pubmed • Format specific: OAPen • Use OpenDOAR or Google Scholar
    22. 22. Social / Academic Resources Make use of what others are already collecting:- • ResearchGate – • Piirus - • CituLike – search at • Delicious – search Google ( • – search at • Twitter – use Tweetdeck, Hootsuite etc.
    23. 23. Hands-on • Explore resources mentioned • Set up a profile on ResearchGate or Piirus if you wish • Continue to search Google Scholar Via Flickr Creative Commons, by © Stuti Sakhalkar. Original available at
    24. 24. Image Credits [Slide 3] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Stefan. Original available at [Slide 9] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by David Goehring. Original available at [Slide 20] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Alexandre Duret-Lutz, available at [Slide 25] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by GuidosPortaal. Original available at [Slide 26] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by FutUndBeidl. Original available at [Slide 33] ‘Vitae®, © 2010 Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Limited‘ Available at
    25. 25. Vitae Researcher Development Framework [see image credits] Measuring Researcher Development