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Google Scholar as a tool for discovering journal articles in library and information science

Dirk Lewandowski (Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 20 April 2010



The purpose of this paper is to measure the coverage of Google Scholar for Library and Information Science (LIS) journal literature as identified by a list of core LIS journals from a study by Schlögl and Petschnig.


The paper checked every article from 35 major LIS journals from the years 2004 to 2006 for availability in Google Scholar. It also collected information on the type of availability – whether a certain article was available as a PDF for a fee, as a free PDF or as a preprint.


The paper found that only some journals are completely indexed by Google Scholar, that the ratio of versions available depends on the type of publisher, and that availability varies a lot from journal to journal. Google Scholar cannot substitute for abstracting and indexing services in that it does not cover the complete literature of the field. However, it can be used in many cases to easily find available full texts of articles already identified using another tool.


The study differs from other Google Scholar coverage studies in that it takes into account not only whether an article is indexed in Google Scholar at all, but also the type of availability.



Lewandowski, D. (2010), "Google Scholar as a tool for discovering journal articles in library and information science", Online Information Review, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 250-262.



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