Google Scholar is a freely accessible online search engine which allows the users to do a quick search through or look up both the digital as well as the physical copies of various scholarly articles. Through this quick search tool, you can search through all sorts of online/off-line resources including universities, preprint depositories, academic publishers, in order to look for: abstracts, thesis, peer-reviewed articles, reprints, technical reports and books.
Although Google Scholar does an excellent job at searching for both online and printed scholarly information, you must keep in mind that the resource per se isn’t a database in itself. A database on the other hand, for instance the one you can find at a university’s webpage, is a subscription only service which allows you to search through already-published articles.
How you can make the most of quick search via Google Scholar
Google Scholar can be of great help to you in the following ways:
– The tool provides both advanced and basic level search options, as if you are looking up a database only.
– It’s very easy to search through if you’re already familiar with the workings of the Google search engine.
– Google Scholar provides you direct and quick access to the entire text of articles, provided they’re made available for free on the Internet.
– The tool can link to various library catalogs allowing you to look up resources inside your own respective university’s library and beyond.
– You can also look up a specific title in the Google Scholar quick search tool and it’ll tell you the number of times it has already been cited.
– The tool does its best at helping you discover the most useful and apt scholarly resources as it ranks all the articles based on their relevance.
Quick search through a database may still be a better choice indeed!
Although Google Scholar is an excellent tool to search through various online and off-line resources, there’s nothing better than searching through a database! Let’s find out more:
In case of databases:
– You’re provided with the ability of focusing your search based on the subject area.
– You’re allowed to sort results based on relevance and date.
– You can limit the quick search by making effective use of different criteria.
– You can sort the quick search results based on the type of material (newspaper, magazine, academic journal etc.)
– Normally, if you’re the student of a university, you will not be charged for the complete text of the article if your university has taken subscription to that particular database.
If you’re a student, you get easy access to quick search through innumerable databases which cover a good variety of areas in disciplines that may not have been aptly represented by the Google Scholar.
In case of Google Scholar:
– You may be charged for viewing the entire text of the articles you have found and want to refer to.
– Although the tool may allow you access to the full text of few electronic articles, it may not be very helpful in helping you track down their print versions.
– It doesn’t provide you with an easy method of sorting the articles returned by quick search.
– The returned results don’t normally specify the type of materials (newspaper, magazine, academic journal etc.) that are there in the list of results.
Regardless of whether you obtain the article text from Google Scholar or a university database, ensure that it exactly meets your requirements before going ahead with it. Also find out about its author, his/her credentials, whether the article is from a magazine or a journal and the date of its publishing.