The Google search engine has become so ubiquitous it’s now a verb (“I googled it”). But while the search engine is widely known, many of Google’s other tools go less noticed. Over a series of future posts this blog will examine a number of tools from Google that students and scholars alike may find particularly useful.
Since most people go to Google to search, it makes sense to begin this series by highlighting two other search options Google provides. These are Google Scholar and Google Book Search. Google Scholar confines search results to “scholarly literature,” which it defines as “peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations.” In order to rank these results Google takes into account the author, the publication, and the number of times the work has been cited in other publications. Google Scholar definitely sorts out the less reliable and relevant sources a regular Google search would provide.
Google Book Search finds books that match the topic the user is looking for. Depending on the book (and its copyright restrictions), results range from basic bibliographic information to complete works available online (and often downloadable as a PDF).
So when a regular Google search just won’t cut it, check out Google Scholar and Google Book Search to search more like an academic.