Google Scholar
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This presentation was given on November 17, 2009, as part of the Louisiana State University Libraries Tech Talks Series, facilitated by Digital Technologies Librarian Rebecca Miller.

This presentation was given on November 17, 2009, as part of the Louisiana State University Libraries Tech Talks Series, facilitated by Digital Technologies Librarian Rebecca Miller.

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Google Scholar Google Scholar Presentation Transcript

  • Google Scholar in the Academic Library
  • “Stand on the shoulders of giants”
    Launched in 2004
    Google Scholar (GS) “provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature”
    Essentially, GS is a metasearch tool
    GS claims to help “you identify the most relevant research across the world of scholarly research”
    GS is still in Beta
    Compared with commercial databases in terms of content and searchability
  • What?
    According to recent research, the content in Google and GS does not “overlap greatly;” GS does crawl a specific subset of Google material:
    Books, citations, Word documents, PDF, HTML, conference proceedings, patents, legal opinions, etc…
    Google does not actually disclose, specifically, what is indexed within GS
    There is no list of resources crawled, and the frequency of updates is completely unknown
    Not a lot of full text
    Links to library holdings using LinkSource
  • How?
    No one is really sure about the relevancy algorithm, indexing, or content. We do know that the results are
    Relevance ranked(default)
    Although, you can manipulate the dates to show the most recent resources
  • features
    Advanced Search (how you’re searching)
    Scholar Preferences (what you’re searching)
    Categories (broad areas of research)
    Library Links
    Cited By
    Related Articles
    Web Search
    Exporting Citations to Bib Managers
  • benefits
    Great tool for verifying partial citations
    Open access (although not all of its content is)
    Like its parent, perfect for quick answers
    Works with a platform with which everyone is already comfortable
    Can be tied into individual libraries’ catalogs
    Shows multiple versions of a resource, at a glance
  • Problems & Drawbacks
    Inaccurate citation analysis & impact of scholarly material
    Lack of transparency in content
    (Apparent) unbalanced subject areas
    Not very powerful search/lack of search features (compared with commercial databases)
    No definition of categories/subject areas
  • Google Scholar is already out there. Our job is not to do battle with it, but to teach our students how to use it wisely…
    --Badke, 2009
    It is a perfectly decent search tool for those who are looking for quick answers and for questions that have little or no impact on clinical excellence…
    --Vine, 2006
  • Most research agrees…
    Google Scholar cannot replace or really be used independently of other, commercial databases (unless the researcher is simply looking for a “quick” answer)
    GS, nonetheless, is a valuable tool when used as part of an overall research plan or cadre of research tools
  • So, what do we take away from this?
    Should we include GS in instruction/one-shots? Why/why not?
    When do we turn to it on the reference desk?
    Philosophically, what will it do to users if they see us using GS, rather than a library database?
    How do we answer questions about comparing GS and library databases?
    Other thoughts/questions?