February 02, 2007

Other libraries & Google

Writing about web page http://library.northampton.ac.uk/blog/

Interesting to see what my former colleagues at the University of Northampton are blogging about.

The latest posting is about an issue that is affecting all info. professionals in HE settings. The prevelance of Google and the reliance on it amongst our students is something that we try to battle with our information skills tutorials.

I think that the problem is that Google does do such a good job. It’s great for finding out stuff. It answers most of your every day needs in the time it takes for you to blink. It can even find specialist academic material, if you know how to use it properly (and especially if you use Google Scholar).

But it can’t be healthy for us all to use Google for everything. There’s so much of the web that Google doesn’t index. And if you know that you want academic quality material, surely the best place to search is an academic journals database. You can be sure that Google doesn’t index all academic journals and although Google Scholar does index some, it’s coverage is patchy and its results will include material for which you will have to pay to have access. Whereas if you search the library’s collections (Look for your subject page on our website) you will get access to loads of academic journals for free.

How can we get this message accross?

- 2 comments by 0 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. matt

    In my experience Google Scholar gives much better results than any journal database. Databases are terrible for coverage of conference proceedings and minor journals, both of which tend to turn up on google. It’s also quicker, easier, doesn’t require any log-in, and has a passable “cited by” search. The only reason I ever use databases these days is for looking up impact factors.

    02 Feb 2007, 20:40

  2. Dan

    I think the best answer is surely to just give in and encourage the journal databases and Google to get together and make google scholar more comprehensive.

    I for one welcome our new Google overlords.

    03 Feb 2007, 12:44

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