Google Scholar

Google_Scholar_logo
image from Wikimedia commons

Google Scholar is a free academic search service that scours the internet for scholarly content in all disciplines.  It has become very popular with researchers and students probably for several reasons; it is free, it requires no subscription or password to access, it covers academic disciplines that are not covered in other free products like PubMed, and it includes content from academic websites and institutional repositories like preprints and theses that are not typically included in databases of peer-reviewed journal articles.

You can find Google Scholar on Touro Libraries Database List.  Although no subscription is required, there is a benefit to accessing Google Scholar through the Library website.  You will have the ability to link to full-text options that are available from Touro’s subscription databases.  So you can find a citation through Google Scholar, and then often get the full-text of the article from a Touro database.

You will need a username and password for off-campus access to databases.  To create a username and password or to retrieve a forgotten username and password click here

Researchers should be aware though that there are weaknesses in Google Scholar’s citation metrics.  According to an article in the journal Science , “Because it includes sources from across the internet  – not only vetted journals – and has no human curators, Google Scholar’s citation metrics can be easily gamed.” (Bohannon, 2014)  This was demonstrated by a group of researchers who placed fake papers on their university’s website and saw their citation scores quickly rise on Google Scholar.  The team’s findings will be published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology in March 2014 and can be viewed here.

References

Bohannon, J. (2014). Google Scholar wins raves – but can it be trusted? Science, 343(6166), 14.

López-Cózar, E. D., Robinson-Garcia, N., & Torres-Salinas, D. (2013). The Google Scholar Experiment: how to index false papers and manipulate bibliometric indicators. arXiv preprint arXiv:1309.2413.

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