Google Scholar

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Google Scholar
Image:Google Scholar Beta logo.png
Type of site bibliographic database
Registration no
Owner Google
Created by Google
Current status beta

Google Scholar is a freely-accessible Web search engine that indexes the full text of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. Released in beta in November 2004, the Google Scholar index includes most peer-reviewed online journals of the world's largest scientific publishers. It is similar in function to the freely available Scirus from Elsevier, CiteSeer, and getCITED. It is also similar to the subscription-based tools, Elsevier's Scopus and Thomson ISI's Web of Science. Google Scholar nonetheless claims to cover more websites, journal sources and languages.[citation needed] Its advertising slogan — "Stand on the shoulders of giants" — is a nod to the scholars who have contributed to their fields over the centuries, providing the foundation for new intellectual achievements.


[edit] History

Google Scholar arose out of discussion between Alex Verstak and Anurag Acharya, both of whom were then working on building Google's main web index.[1][2]

In 2006, in response to release of Microsoft's Windows Live Academic Search, a potential competitor for Google Scholar, a citation importing feature was implemented using bibliography managers (such as RefWorks, RefMan, EndNote, and BibTeX). Similar features are also part of other search engines, such as CiteSeer and Scirus.

In 2007, Acharya announced that Google Scholar had started a program to digitize and host journal articles in agreement with their publishers; an effort separate from Google Book Search, whose scans of older journals do not include the metadata required for identifying specific articles in specific issues.[3]

[edit] Features

Google Scholar allows users to search for digital or physical copies of articles, whether they be online or in libraries.[4]

Using its "group of" feature, it shows the various available links to the journal article. In the 2005 version, this feature provided a link both to subscription-access versions of the article and to free full text versions of articles; for most of 2006, it provided links to only the official versions. As of December 2006, it provides access to both published versions and on major open access repositories, but does still not cover individual university pages; access to such self-archived non-subscription versions is now provided by a link to Google, where one can find such open access articles.

Through its "cited by" feature, Google Scholar provides access to abstracts of articles that have cited the article being viewed.[5] It is this feature in particular that provides the citation indexing previously only found in Scopus and Web of Knowledge. Through its "Related articles" feature, Google Scholar presents a list of closely related articles, ranked primarily by how similar these articles are to the original result, but also taking into account the relevance of each paper.[6]

[edit] Criticism

Some searchers consider Google Scholar of comparable quality and utility to commercial databases,[7] even though its user-interface (UI) is still in beta. The reviews recognize that its "cited by" feature in particular poses serious competition to Scopus and ISI Web of Knowledge, although it generally returns fewer results than subscription services.

A significant problem with Google Scholar is the secrecy about its coverage. Some publishers do not allow it to crawl their journals. Elsevier journals were not included before mid-2007, when Elsevier began to make most of its ScienceDirect content available to Google Scholar and Google's web search.[8] As of February 2008 the absentees still include the most recent years of the American Chemical Society journals. Google Scholar does not publish a list of scientific journals crawled, and the frequency of its updates is unknown. It is therefore impossible to know how current and/or exhaustive searches are in Google Scholar. Nonetheless, it allows easy access to published articles without the difficulties that are encountered in some of the most expensive commercial databases.

Google Scholar has problems identifying publications on the arXiv preprint server correctly. Interpunctation characters in titles produce wrong search results entries, and authors are assigned to wrong papers, which leads to erroneous additional search results. Some search results are even given without any comprehensible reason.[citation needed]

[edit] Notes

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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