Google Scholar Has Lots To Learn

    June 16, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

The Mountain View-based search engine company’s latest product gets the folks at Thomson Gale to turn up their noses.

Google Scholar isn’t a post-graduate course on using search engines. Instead, it allows users to sift through the world of scholarly literature: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, and all the other output of the educational community.

The search engine attempts to rank those results by relevance to the query, as it does with standard web searches. Google Scholar also extracts citations and presents them as separate results, even if the reference documents are not available online.

But a review at the Thomson Gale web site dismisses Google’s effort as “disappointing” and inferior to other projects like CiteSeer and eBizSearch.

“The “Googlemania” fueled by the enormous media publicity and laymen’s ecstasy rubs off on Google Scholar and makes otherwise learned people disregard reality,” says the review.

And the author goes on to complain about, well, pretty much everything about Google Scholar: browsing, search options, output options. As it praises fee-based products like Web of Science and Scopus, the article manages to point out in context what its author can’t state directly; you get what you pay for in research.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.