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Gaga over Google? Scholar in the Social Sciences

Susan Gardner (Collection Development Coordinator and Reference/Instruction Librarian, at Leavey Library, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA. (susangar@usc.edu))
Susanna Eng (Assistant Instructional Services Coordinator, Information Services Division, both at Leavey Library, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA. (susannae@usc.edu))

Library Hi Tech News

ISSN: 0741-9058

Article publication date: 1 September 2005

Abstract

Purpose

To provide a summary of the main features of Google Scholar.

Design/methodology/approach

Reviews, contextualizes and provides a summary of Google Scholar.

Findings

This article compares the results of a sample search on “homeschooling in Google Scholar against the results in three fee‐based article index databases in the social sciences: PsycINFO, Social Science Citation Index, and ERIC. Comparisons are done in the areas of content, currency, relevancy, and overlap. Google Scholar yields more results and a greater variety in its types of sources along with a higher rate of relevancy, but less currency. Ultimately, Scholar’s lack of quality control and inability to let the user manipulate data make it less effective than the fee‐based databases at finding scholarly material in the social sciences.

Originality/value

Provides a useful summary for information professionals.

Keywords

Citation

Gardner, S. and Eng, S. (2005), "Gaga over Google? Scholar in the Social Sciences", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 22 No. 8, pp. 42-45. https://doi.org/10.1108/07419050510633952

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited