Google Scholar: Academic Search

Another new beta offering from the guys at the 'plex is Google Scholar, an engine confined to the narrow search space of academic documents.

Google scholar represents more than niche searching, it also allows users to access information that would normally be part of the "invisible web". Danny Sullivan writes: "Google has worked with publishers to gain access to some material that wouldn't ordinarily be accessible to search spiders, because it is locked behind subscription barriers."

However, not all of the information revealed by the search is available through the internet, Sullivan explains. "In some cases, the material is not actually online. Google may know about a paper only through references it has seen on other papers. In these cases, a Library Search and Web Search link will appear next to the paper or book's title."

So why show these results at all? Well, for those doing scholarly work, just being aware that a publication exists can be beneficial; they can then go and hunt the publication down elsewhere (in the offline world).

Amother feature of Google Scholar is citation extraction and analysis, whereby next to each document listed is a "cited by" link, and the overall number of citations. Interestingly, citation analysis -- which has long been a feature of the world of academic information -- is the idea that Google adapted in giving birth to its own PageRank concept.

Comments

2 comments

Andy Roberts / November 27, 2004 8:09 AM / #

Seems to be catching on...

norman / December 4, 2004 12:14 AM / #

I do not doubt the creativity of Google and their vision.However,would google be able to topple Pubmed /NLM,Biomed central/or the intensity of Science citation index or Web of Science in the near future? At least for medical (basic and clinical) literature, people will have reluctance to use "scholar". However, it is good for healthy dose of competition. The very good thing is it makes certain things available to general public at no cost or accessing without procuring license, and Google's efforts in this direction should be commended.

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