On Google Scholar


Some interesting behind the scenes thoughts...

Lost Boy: Google Scholar

My involvement with Google goes back about nine months after they contacted us to see if we wanted to collaborate with them on an initiative to add more scholarly content to the Google indexes. Of course we jumped at the chance, this is undeniably a Good Thing (both for us and the publishers we work with).

and particularly of interest

With our content appearing in the Google indexes it's been interesting to watch the referral traffic increase very nicely. Now that Google Scholar has launched the referrals from the new site similarly jump into life; they must already have attracted a large user base, which isn't that surprising.

Very interesting to hear about a major provider going through a good deal of work - cleaning up of URL syntax, allowing access - just to be sure that they aren't on the losing end of the if you ain't in it, you're gonna be out of it juggernaut.

[UPDATE: Danny Sullivan goes into some of this in much greater detail.]

Getting the word out...

I'd like to start tracking how and what (academic) libraries are communicating to students and faculty inre: Google Scholar. (see: WU Libraries Biology Library News 11/04 as an example.) If your library is using the web to let your campus know about this new tool, please send an email to tsondermann (at) gmail dot com. Thanks.

OpenURL Proof of Concept via Firefox

Google Scholar OpenURLs - Firefox Extension

The purpose is to enable users at an institution that has an OpenURL link-resolver to use that resolver to locate the full text of articles found in Google Scholar, instead of relying on the links to publishers' websites provided by Google. This is important because it solves the "appropriate copy problem": the link to a publisher's site is useless if you don't have a subscription that lets you into that site, and your library may provide access to the same article in an aggregator's package or elsewhere.


Things still left to do...

STLQ: Google Scholar - Commentary by Jay Bhatt

I think that it is important to note that this newfangled thing is only two weeks old. What will it be like when it matures?


Amazon gets into the citation business...

Amazon.com: Books: Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web

Google Scholar and The Furry Unleashed

A students point of view. [VIA web4lib]

Recently, Google Scholar was unveiled, followed by numerous blog posts about it. The majority of the ones I read were positive and loved the idea, outside of some library related ones. There seemed to be some worry that it destroyed the possibility for federated search at a library. Here is a summary of my opinions.

Google Scholar vs Native Search

Peter Jacso (easily the best database reviewer out there) has created a tool that lets you look at Scholar and other "native engines" side-by-side. He'll have some must read commentary in the December issue of Peter's Digital Reference Shelf [VIA Resourceshelf]

TouchGraph browser for Google Scholar

Alf at Hublog has created a TouchGraph implementation for Google Scholar.

(You should also check out HubMed if you haven't done so already. It's an experimental/innovative/elegant interface to PubMed that is worth checking out for the RSS queries alone.)

[thanks Paul.]


Not entirely user-friendly...

Originally uploaded by tsondermann.


I wonder if, after the publishers find that many new people are finding their abstracts but not shelling out the bucks to purchase them* ($38.48?) the economics of publishing in the schoogle era will lead them to adopt some sort of micropayment system?

*Never mind the fact that they won't check the library.

Googlejuice as tenure tool?

An interesting analysis.

Proxy works

Paul notes that he has proxy access set up at his school, and that the library at Cambridge University has Google Scholar front and center. Thanks Paul!

Google Scholar Local

A more cogent view of what I was talking about earlier. With screenshots!

Bibliographic Management

How far away are we from Google announcing a web-based, Refworks style citation manager? 6 months? A year? Heck, they should just buy Refworks...

The Scientist - Google Scholar welcomed

A nice overview that gets some input from a few different camps. Most interesting is the idea of flagging open access vs. pay-per-view articles.
"A PloS spokeswoman added: 'Google will find that they can better serve their searchers' needs for access to complete scholarly articles by 'flagging' as open access or ranking more highly those that are freely available online. Such a system would minimize people's frustration at finding an article that looks perfect for their research needs but discovering that they are unable to access it. This frustration is already quite evident in the various threaded discussions occurring online.'"

The problem with this, of course, is that many scholars are going to be using this on-campus, wherein they'll enjoy an additional layer of ip-based subscription access. The real solution will be some sort of localized version tied in to an OpenURL system. Assuming publishers can get their DOI acts toegther.

Harvard Crimson on Google Scholar

The Harvard Crimson weighs in and even manages to get a librarian's point of view (gasp!).
“I don’t think it will replace the resources available in the library,” LaGuardia said. “It’s still got a long way to go, but there’s promise.”

(BTW, if you ever have a chance to see Cheryl LaGuardia speak, I recommend that you do so.) [via Open Access News]

BioMed Central search plugin for Firefox

If you haven't yet used Firefox I implore you to do so. There are a host of reasons why, and here's another: BMC search plugin for Firefox.


Your chocolate and my peanut butter...

How long until Google attempts to acquire FindArticles?

Wonky WorldCat results

One of the problems I've noticed with some of the Open WorldCat records that are turning up in Scholar is that some amount of FRBR-like de-duping is taking place. Unfortunately, the copy that is floating to the top in many instances is the Audiobook.

For example, a search in WorldCat for the book Moneyball reveals 5 print editions (two of which are foreign language, one of which is a large print edition and the other two seem to my (non-cataloger) eyes to be bad authority work are the hardcover and paperback editions) and 5 audio versions (an Audible record, two cassettes and two cd's - more bad authority work(?)).

A Google Scholar search returns one record. But it happens to go directly to one of the Books on Tape records. I wonder how many people are using the request feature without paying very much attention and being a bit surprised when they are handed a cd from the Circ. Desk.


I reckon that within a few weeks we'll have all sorts clever folks creating interesting ways to interact with Google Scholar. To kick things off, Paul at The Distant Librarian has created some bookmarklets, and the nice people over at Ingenta have created some interesting ones as well.


So. I think we'd all agree that what happened on on November 18, 2004 will have a profound impact on the world of scholarly research. Both within the world of libraries and (perhaps more importantly) outside of it. What I'd like to do with this blog is have it serve as a repository for all things Google Scholar.

If you think you've got something to bring to the mix, shoot me an email tsondermann (at) gmail and I'd be happy to set you up with posting privileges. I'd also be interested in seeing your tips, tricks and any news you might come across.

To begin. A (not nearly complete) collection of initial reactions from around the web.

That ought to do for a bit.