December 22, 2005

Morning reading – Google Scholar

Writing about web page http://scholar.google.com/

Have been reading an interesting article this morning, whilst the network was down. It's about a comparison of Google Scholar with Web of Science and Scopus.

Interestingly, the article reports that Google Scholar couldn't handle a basic Boolean search in an intelligible way. I recreated the search myself, and its right. Normally, with Boolean searching you use "OR" to connect two words and increase the number of results you get from your search. Try searching for "protein" then for "proteins" then for "protein OR proteins", and see how the results set decreases in size rather than increasing!

The other main weakness of Google Scholar that I picked up from this article was the lack of information about the collection being searched. What time period does it cover? Which publications, from which publishers? The author found no way to search reliably by publication year range, and that "4-digit nimbers seem often interpreted by G-S as publication year".

However, the article did praise Google Scholar for being able to link to full text versions of almost half of the results the author found, and it was interesting to note that his searches found fairly little overlap in the results from the 3 services, with Google Scholar more often picking up details from obscure or smaller publications than either Web of Science or Scopus.

The article can be found online at: link

Or you could just type :
"As we may search – comparison of major features" jasco
into the main Google search engine!


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