Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

How Google Scholar serves scholars

Carol Tenopir, Google in the Academic Library, Library Journal, February 1, 2005. Excerpt: 'The material in Google Scholar is not just the peer-reviewed journals available in systems like ScienceDirect, Web of Science, or SciFinder; it also includes bibliographic information about books (scholarly or not) from the OCLC WorldCat database, book reviews, and links to publishers' web sites. Occasionally, other material sneaks through, but my sample searches largely retrieved mostly relevant, relatively scholarly materials. A search of "genome project" retrieved several thousand records. The first few screens were mostly articles in PubMed and other full-text journal sources (some available only when my IP address was recognized as coming from a subscribing library and others only as pay-per-view), a few abstracts, a book description, and some dead links. Searching for "geysers" yielded similar results but with more books and book reviews. WorldCat provided the nearest library that holds the title when I put in my zip code as prompted....On the full Google, "geyser" took me to the National Park Service sites, spring water companies, tourist companies, and more. The few truly academic things were buried. Google Scholar seems to have solved this problem....Google Scholar has real potential to provide easy, one-stop access to articles in both subscription journals and items in institutional repositories, open access journals, and e-print servers. Although the beta version does not yet include Open Archives harvested materials, the power of identifying academic materials buried in a sea of web flotsam is enticing. But easy access to multiple sources unwittingly highlights a multiple version problem. Preprints, revised versions, and final versions of articles all get retrieved.'