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Google Scholar

Google Scholar

 GOOGLE SCHOLAR

 

ABSTRACT

Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.pl/ ) arose out of a discussion between Alex Verstak and Anurag Acharya, both of whom were then working on building Google’s main web index. Their goal was to “make the world’s problem solvers 10% more efficient” by allowing easier and more accurate access to scientific knowledge. This goal is reflected in the Google Scholar’s advertising slogan – “Stand on the shoulders of giants” – taken from a quote by Isaac Newton and is a nod to the scholars who have contributed to their fields over the centuries, providing the foundation for new intellectual achievements.

The evolution of the electronic age has led to the development of numerous medical databases on the World Wide Web, offering search facilities on a particular subject and the ability to perform citation analysis.

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.

Google Scholar is a subset of the larger Google search index, consisting of full-text journal articles, technical reports, preprints, theses, books, and other documents, including selected Web pages that are deemed to be “scholarly.” Although Google Scholar covers a great range of topical areas, it appears to be strongest in the sciences, particularly medicine, and secondarily in the social sciences. The company claims to have full-text content from all major publishers except Elsevier and the American Chemical Society, as well as hosting services such as Highwire and Ingenta.

INTRODUCTION TO GOOGLE SCHOLAR

Google Scholar is the scholarly search tool of the world’s largest nd most powerful search engine, Google. Google Scholar was developed by Anurag Acharya, an Indian-born computer scientist. It is an incredible tool allowing researchers to locate a wide array of scholarly journals, abstracts, peer-reviewed articles, theses, dissertations, books, preprints, PowerPoint presentations and technical reports from universities, academic institutions, professional societies, research groups and preprint repositories around the world. As such, it has become a gateway to accessing scholarly information on the Web. Every day more scholarly information is available online and we continue to discover new reasons to need access to this information. If Google Scholar makes more open-access scholarly material accessible, the price of academic journals and databases may decrease or stabilize as they strive to compete.

What makes Google Scholar most useful is its citation index feature. Google Scholar consists of articles, with a sub-list under each article of the subsequently published resources that cite the article; Google Scholar shows who cited a given article at a later point in time. Google Scholar ranks search result by how often it has been cited in other scholarly literature (Google Scholar 2005). So the most related documents should appear at the top of the retrieved results. Furthermore, Google Scholar automatically extracts and analyzes citations and presents them as separate results, even if the documents they refer to are not available on the Web. So it analyzes the popularity of a document according to the number of times it has been cited by other documents, and generally displays the retrieved results showing the most-cited references first.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

We searched the official home page of Google Scholar to identify and extract information regarding the various characteristics of these databases. We focused on the date of the official inauguration, content, coverage, number of keywords allowed for each search, uses, updating, owner, and characteristics and quality of citations in our analysis of Google Scholar.

Google Scholar was developed by Google Inc., another private company, but it is freely accessible and aims to summarize all electronic references on a subject. There is no journal frame/list available for Google Scholar, because it presumably lists all publications that have emerged from the electronic search. Being essentially a Web search engine, its aim is to reach the widest audience available. It allows a quick search and an advanced search. In the advanced search the results can be limited by title words, authors, source, date of publication, and subject areas. The languages of the interface and of the search are optional. The results can be displayed as a listing of 10–300 items per page. Each retrieved article is represented by title, authors, and source, but the abstract and information on free full text availability are not provided by Google Scholar. Under each retrieved article the number of cited articles is noted and can be retrieved by clicking on the relevant link. By clicking on the article title, Google Scholar leads you to a list of possible links to the article, usually on the journal’s site, but for older articles the link is directed to the PubMed citation. In addition, Google Scholar provides links to relevant articles and allows for a general Google Web search, using self-selected keywords from the article and the author name.

FEATURES OF GOOGLE SCHOLAR

  • Search all scholarly literature from one convenient place
  • Explore related works, citations, authors, and publications
  • Locate the complete document through your library or on the web
  • Keep up with recent developments in any area of research
  • Check who’s citing your publications, create a public author profile

GOOGLE SCHOLAR CITATIONS

Google Scholar Citations provide a simple way for authors to keep track of citations to their articles. You can check who is citing your publications, graph citations over time, and compute several citation metrics. You can also make your profile public, so that it may appear in Google Scholar results when people search for your name.

Best of all, it’s quick to set up and simple to maintain – even if you have written hundreds of articles, and even if your name is shared by several different scholars. You can add groups of related articles, not just one article at a time; and your citation metrics are computed and updated automatically as Google Scholar finds new citations to your work on the web. You can choose to have your list of articles updated automatically or review the updates yourself, or to manually update your articles at any time.

GOOGLE SCHOLAR: THE PRO AND THE CONS

The launch of Google Scholar – not surprisingly – drew much attention and praise, although not necessarily for the right reasons, both from the popular and the professional media. Google makes it very easy and free to find scholarly information about any topic – an important service for those who do not have access to the most appropriate fee-based indexing/abstracting databases which traditionally have helped in information discovery. Google Scholar goes beyond information discovery by leading qualifying users at subscribing libraries to the primary digital documents, and any users to the millions of open access (free) primary documents offered through mega-databases of preprint and reprint servers, as well as to the full text digital collections of several government agencies and research organizations. Google also deserves credit for introducing – albeit a bit belatedly – advanced options to refine the search process. On the negative side, the most important problem is that the crawlers of Google Scholar have not indexed millions of articles, even though they were let into the digital archives of most of the largest academic publishers and preprint servers and repositories. The stunning gaps give a false impression of the scholarly coverage of topics and lead to the omission of highly relevant articles by those who need more than just a few pertinent research documents. The rather enigmatic presentation of the results befuddles many users and the lack of any sort options frustrates the savvy searchers.

 KEY ADVANTAGES AND CAPABILITIES OF GOOGLE SCHOLAR

Google Scholar provides most of the advantages of other citation indexes. The primary advantage in using Google Scholar is that it leads the researcher to the latest articles; that is, it goes forward in time rather than solely backward; it identifies relationships between articles, breaking through disciplinary and geographic boundaries. So a researcher can go forward to determine who has cited an earlier work. By starting with a single article, she/he can identify additional articles that have referred to it. And each retrieved article may provide a new list of references with which to continue the citation search on the Web. Citation searching helps in identifying authors and key words, which can lead to finding new resources.

Google Scholar has a number of important advantages when compared with databases. It locates documents posted on the Web. Since several authors post preprints to their Web sites much earlier than they would through commercial databases. The autonomous nature of Google Scholar keeps the cost of maintaining the index much lower than other citation indexes, which are often manually created, and thus provides a free alternative or complement to other citation indexes. It can also give up-to-date impact measures of particular articles.

Other advantages of Google Scholar include the following:

  • It provides international coverage of journals and scholarly resources.
  • It allows researchers to conduct broad-based, comprehensive and multidisciplinary searches to discover hidden subject relationships on the Web.
  • Google Scholar is not restricted to articles – preprints, technical reports, theses, dissertations, and conference proceedings are also indexed.
  • It is able to recognize variant forms of citations. However, in some cases it has problems with the name of authors that have diacritical marks.
  • Users can combine searches of words from the article title, keywords and authors and domain name.
  • Google Scholar is available on the Web, it contains full text of many articles and users can search all years simultaneously.

DISADVANTAGES

Google Scholar is, however , not without its disadvantages. Sometimes, Google Scholar includes administrative notes, library tours, student hand-books, etc., which are not exactly scholarly material from the point of view of the traditional definition of scholarly information. Sources of publication may not be universally recognized as scholarly, Moreover, “what it does not include is important. If we understand correctly what it does index, it is time to get on with the much larger job of identifying more trusted scholarly sources” (Hamaker and Spry 2005). Unfortunately, Google Scholar’s algorithm cannot distinguish between articles, editorial notes or library guides. Google Scholar is a beta version and am experiment that has some limitations:

  • It currently has a language bias. Google Scholar does not index complex script languages, such as Persian, Arabic, Chinese and Japanese, It indexes only European languages.
  • There is inconsistency in citation styles.
  • It uses author initials, so several different authors with the same last name and initials cannot be differentiated.
  • Many scholarly periodicals and magazines are not indexed.
  • There is no subject indexing and/or classification access – searching is by keywords in the journal title, article title, abstract, or text.

CONCLUSION

Regardless of its limitations, the two unique advantages of Google Scholar are its use of citation indexing and its multidisciplinary coverage. Comparing Google Scholar to other databases is difficult given the differences in formats and coverage indexed in the resources, However, to stress the value of this free search tool, the author conducted a quick search on ‘Webometrics’. Since Google Scholar is a citation index, it seemed reasonable to compare results to a commercial citation index.

Google Scholar retrieves several documents that do not appear in scholarly journals but are part of the growing collection of scholarly information on the Web. Thus, Google Scholar again serves as a good complement to commercial databases. Ultimately, despite some disadvantages and the need for improvements, Google Scholar offers another resource for locating quality information, In comparison to commercial databases, it complements the researcher’s needs by providing access to resources not covered by traditional citation indexes.

REFERENCES

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