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Article

Martin Kesselman and Sarah Barbara Watstein

The purpose of this article is to explore and expose some of the many facets of Google Scholar™ that have set the academic library world on edge. Google Scholar™'s impact…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to explore and expose some of the many facets of Google Scholar™ that have set the academic library world on edge. Google Scholar™'s impact on reference and information literacy is considered, as are the challenges it poses for the library's web site.

Design/methodology/approach

Includes opinions in a point/counterpoint format, as well as citations to recently published literature.

Findings

Provides arguments about ignoring or leveraging the teachings of Scholar Google™ in conjunction with teaching the library's various subscription databases available through the library's web site.

Originality/value

This paper fills an identified information need by offering original, practical advice to librarians.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

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Article

Mary L. Robinson and Judith Wusteman

To describe a small‐scale quantitative evaluation of the scholarly information search engine, Google Scholar.

Abstract

Purpose

To describe a small‐scale quantitative evaluation of the scholarly information search engine, Google Scholar.

Design/methodology/approach

Google Scholar's ability to retrieve scholarly information was compared to that of three popular search engines: Ask.com, Google and Yahoo! Test queries were presented to all four search engines and the following measures were used to compare them: precision; Vaughan's Quality of Result Ranking; relative recall; and Vaughan's Ability to Retrieve Top Ranked Pages.

Findings

Significant differences were found in the ability to retrieve top ranked pages between Ask.com and Google and between Ask.com and Google Scholar for scientific queries. No other significant differences were found between the search engines. This may be due to the relatively small sample size of eight queries. Results suggest that, for scientific queries, Google Scholar has the highest precision, relative recall and Ability to Retrieve Top Ranked Pages. However, it achieved the lowest score for these three measures for non‐scientific queries. The best overall score for all four measures was achieved by Google. Vaughan's Quality of Result Ranking found a significant correlation between Google and scientific queries.

Research limitations/implications

As with any search engine evaluation, the results pertain only to performance at the time of the study and must be considered in light of any subsequent changes in the search engine's configuration or functioning. Also, the relatively small sample size limits the scope of the study's findings.

Practical implications

These results suggest that, although Google Scholar may prove useful to those in scientific disciplines, further development is necessary if it is to be useful to the scholarly community in general.

Originality/value

This is a preliminary study in applying the accepted performance measures of precision and recall to Google Scholar. It provides information specialists and users with an objective evaluation of Google Scholar's abilities across both scientific and non‐scientific disciplines and paves the way for a larger study.

Details

Program, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

Keywords

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Book part

C. Sean Burns

With the rise of alternate discovery services, such as Google Scholar, in conjunction with the increase in open access content, researchers have the option to bypass…

Abstract

With the rise of alternate discovery services, such as Google Scholar, in conjunction with the increase in open access content, researchers have the option to bypass academic libraries when they search for and retrieve scholarly information. This state of affairs implies that academic libraries exist in competition with these alternate services and with the patrons who use them, and as a result, may be disintermediated from the scholarly information seeking and retrieval process. Drawing from decision and game theory, bounded rationality, information seeking theory, citation theory, and social computing theory, this study investigates how academic librarians are responding as competitors to changing scholarly information seeking and collecting practices. Bibliographic data was collected in 2010 from a systematic random sample of references on CiteULike.org and analyzed with three years of bibliometric data collected from Google Scholar. Findings suggest that although scholars may choose to bypass libraries when they seek scholarly information, academic libraries continue to provide a majority of scholarly documentation needs through open access and institutional repositories. Overall, the results indicate that academic librarians are playing the scholarly communication game competitively.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-744-3

Keywords

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Article

David Luftig and Joan Plungis

This study aims to focus on how librarians use and promote Google Scholar (GS) within their library instruction sessions. This study also examines how Google Scholar and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to focus on how librarians use and promote Google Scholar (GS) within their library instruction sessions. This study also examines how Google Scholar and the Google Scholar discovery layer, library links, is promoted on library websites. This information is then analyzed across the three date ranges.

Design/methodology/approach

This study provides a longitudinal analysis of the opinions and uses of Google Scholar by the Ohio consortium of libraries, OhioLINK. This study uses survey data that was collected in 2007, 2014 and 2019 via the OhioLINK Listserv and builds off of co-author’s previous study (2008), which examined the attitudes of OhioLINK librarians as it related to Google Scholar.

Findings

The results of this research suggested that there were significant changes in use and opinions of Google Scholar between 2007 and 2014 with more normalization of uses and opinions occurring between 2014 and 2019.

Research limitations/implications

Respondents were not asked for the type of library where they work or to identify their position within their libraries, which necessarily limits the conclusions that can be drawn from the survey responses. In retrospect, limiting the sample to instruction librarians or faculty librarians might have yielded more meaningful results. Additionally, this project did not evaluate the uses and opinions of librarians using GS at the reference desk. By providing this information, it would be easier to truly glean the uses and opinions of librarians with regard to GS.

Practical implications

This research will assist librarians contextualize how one of the most popular research resources has been used and promoted by those within the field and how those opinions have changed over time. This study will provide context into how Google Scholar became one of the most popular research tools and how attitudes of this unprecedented, and controversial, resource came to be accepted by librarians over the past 15 years.

Social implications

This study will help librarians better contextualize how other librarians use and promote Google Scholar. Furthermore, it demonstrates how a controversial information research tool became accepted by those in the field over time.

Originality/value

According to the authors’ knowledge, this research is the only study to provide a longitudinal analysis of the librarian opinions of Google Scholar. It targeted the same audience in identical surveys in a way no other Google Scholar research has done. It builds off of the co-author’s (2008) work, which is a well-cited study regarding librarian attitudes of Google Scholar. This research was done on the 15th year anniversary of Google Scholar.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

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Article

Michael Levine‐Clark and Esther Gil

The purpose of this paper is to identify the utility of Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar as citation analysis tools for the social sciences.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the utility of Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar as citation analysis tools for the social sciences.

Design/methodology/approach

The 25 most‐accessed articles in 163 social sciences journals are searched in three citation databases.

Findings

Web of Science has long been the only tool for citation analysis. Scopus and Google Scholar, while still new to the market, are complementary to Web of Science and in some cases can provide a more nuanced view of the importance of scholarly articles in the social sciences.

Practical implications

As libraries struggle to provide the best tools to their users, they may wish to consider the freely‐available Google Scholar as a substitute or complement to expensive databases such as Web of Science and Scopus.

Originality/value

Most analyses of citation databases have focused on the sciences. Because this study examined the social sciences literature, it has expanded on the research available on Web of Science, Google Scholar and Scopus.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article

Ming-der Wu and Shih-chuan Chen

The purpose of this study is to examine how graduate students perceive and use Google Scholar. Google Scholar has provided a convenient alternative for finding scholarly…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine how graduate students perceive and use Google Scholar. Google Scholar has provided a convenient alternative for finding scholarly documents since its inception in 2004 and has become a favoured tool for numerous academics. Knowledge of patrons’ usage patterns and attitudes towards Google Scholar will assist librarians in designing appropriate instruction programmes to improve students’ research abilities.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, 32 graduate students from the National Taiwan University were interviewed whose fields of study are the humanities (10), social sciences (11) and science and technology (11).

Findings

Students prefer the usability of Google Scholar over library databases. However, they appreciate the quality of documents retrieved from library databases and regard these databases as crucial tools for finding scholarly documents. Science and technology students favoured Google Scholar more than those who study the humanities and social sciences.

Research limitations/implications

This study only examines the perceptions and behaviour of graduate students. Future studies should include undergraduate students to investigate their use of Google Scholar, thereby obtaining a comprehensive understanding of various patrons of university libraries.

Practical implications

This study shows that graduate students appreciate and use Google Scholar to find scholarly documents, although some students experience difficulties. The findings of this study may assist university libraries in improving their instruction programmes.

Originality/value

The majority of previous studies have focused on coverage, quality and retrieval performance of Google Scholar. However, this study evaluates Google Scholar from a user’s perspective.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article

Philipp Mayr and Anne‐Kathrin Walter

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the new scientific search service Google Scholar (GS). It aims to discuss this search engine, which is intended exclusively for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the new scientific search service Google Scholar (GS). It aims to discuss this search engine, which is intended exclusively for searching scholarly documents, and then empirically test its most important functionality. The focus is on an exploratory study which investigates the coverage of scientific serials in GS.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on queries against different journal lists: international scientific journals from Thomson Scientific (SCI, SSCI, AH), open access journals from the DOAJ list and journals from the German social sciences literature database SOLIS as well as the analysis of result data from GS. All data gathering took place in August 2006.

Findings

The study shows deficiencies in the coverage and up‐to‐dateness of the GS index. Furthermore, the study points out which web servers are the most important data providers for this search service and which information sources are highly represented. The paper can show that there is a relatively large gap in Google Scholar's coverage of German literature as well as weaknesses in the accessibility of Open Access content. Major commercial academic publishers are currently the main data providers.

Research limitations/implications

Five different journal lists were analysed, including approximately 9,500 single titles. The lists are from different fields and of various sizes. This limits comparability. There were also some problems matching the journal titles of the original lists to the journal title data provided by Google Scholar. The study was only able to analyse the top 100 Google Scholar hits per journal.

Practical implications

The paper concludes that Google Scholar has some interesting pros (such as citation analysis and free materials) but the service cannot be seen as a substitute for the use of special abstracting and indexing databases and library catalogues due to various weaknesses (such as transparency, coverage and up‐to‐dateness).

Originality/value

The authors do not know of any other study using such a brute force approach and such a large empirical basis. The study can be considered as using brute force in the sense that it gathered lots of data from Google and then analysed the data in a macroscopic way.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article

Muhammad Yousuf Ali and Joanna Richardson

The purpose of this study is to analyze the use of Google Scholar Citations’ profiling platform by library and information science (LIS) scholars in Pakistan.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze the use of Google Scholar Citations’ profiling platform by library and information science (LIS) scholars in Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

Purposive sampling was used to collect Google Scholar Citations profiles between 15 November 2017 and 31 January 2018. Resultant data were analyzed in SPSS Version 21.

Findings

In terms of demographical data, the study results were consistent with previous studies of Pakistani LIS scholars. There were strong correlations between Google Scholar Citations metrics (publications, citations, h-index and i10-index). The results indicate that, compared with a 2011 survey of LIS academics in Pakistan, the overall uptake for this cohort remains relatively low. This cohort is not maximizing the opportunity provided by this specific online profiling system to increase research visibility.

Research limitations/implications

As the study was limited to those Pakistani LIS scholars who already had a profile on ResearchGate, it would be useful to broaden the research to encompass all Pakistani LIS scholars.

Practical implications

The role of the librarian as an adviser in scholarly communication and impact can be extended to support scholars in the adoption of new online platforms for scholarly communication and visibility.

Originality/value

There have been no published research studies on Google Scholar Citations metrics in the context of Pakistani LIS scholars as a whole.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 68 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

Keywords

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Article

Péter Jacsó

Seven years after the release of Google Scholar in 2004, it was enhanced by a new module, the Google Scholar Author Citation Tracker (GSACT), currently a small subset of…

Abstract

Purpose

Seven years after the release of Google Scholar in 2004, it was enhanced by a new module, the Google Scholar Author Citation Tracker (GSACT), currently a small subset of the complete Google Scholar (GS) database. The aim of this paper is to focus on this enhancement.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses the Google Scholar Author Citation Tracker, its features, potential benefits and problems.

Findings

GSACT allows registered users to create and edit their scientific profiles and some bibliometric indicators, such as the h‐index, total citation counts, and the i10 index. These metrics are provided for the entire academic career of authors and for the most recent five‐year period. The new module also offers some long overdue essential options, such as sorting result lists of the documents by their publication year, title, and the citations received

Originality/value

The paper shows that, at present, GSACT may be too little, too late. However, with an extension of the current clean‐up project it could possibly become a really scholarly resource in the long run.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article

Karen A. Hartman and Laura Bowering Mullen

This paper aims to update the authors' original 2005 study of Google Scholar's integration into ARL libraries' web sites. Have more ARL libraries added Google Scholar?

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to update the authors' original 2005 study of Google Scholar's integration into ARL libraries' web sites. Have more ARL libraries added Google Scholar?

Design/methodology/approach

The library homepages of the 113 ARL academic institutions were examined for paths or links to Google Scholar. The coding scheme focused on noting whether Google Scholar appeared on the library homepage, in the OPAC, and on various database lists and subject guides.

Findings

The 2007 data indicate continued acceptance of Google Scholar and integration of this resource on the web pages of ARL libraries. The mean number of paths to Google Scholar more than doubled from 2005 to 2007. Partnering institutions were more likely to include paths to Google Scholar and the number of partnering institutions increased dramatically.

Practical implications

This study is useful for those making decisions about integration of Google Scholar into library collections and services, particularly the web site.

Originality/value

This paper illustrates future directions for integrating new categories of resources into the academic library web site.

Details

New Library World, vol. 109 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

Keywords

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