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Google® has many sides and services ranging from the scholarly to the geographic to the experimental. Here, we explore two scholarly aspects of this multi-faceted search system.

Note: Searches completed September 2010.

Google Scholar®

Google Scholar® is a beta product designed to search what Google® refers to as "scholarly literature". Although the emphasis is on periodical literature, and Google® seems at times to use the word "article" as an all-encompassing term, Scholar® contains monographic (book) records and references, patents, theses and dissertations as well.

In ordering the returns generated by a search, Scholar® attempts to assign relevance, weighting the title, author, publication and citation by others. Its actual success at "relevance", however, depends upon the research needs, and skills, of the individual searcher.


As with other Google® offerings, users may set certain preferences in Scholar. The default display format and extent of returns may be altered, as may the choice of "English" for the interface language and "all" languages for the pages returned. Of more interest is the ability to import citation into BibTeX, EndNote, RefMan, RefWorks, or WenXianWang through the Bibliographic Manager and the selection of Library Links to display.

With regard to the last, while at computers with a UNB ip address (such as 138.119 or 131.202), the default is set for the: University of New Brunswick (Check for fulltext @ UNB) by the University. To add a library, users need to find out if their choice has entered into an agreement with Google® to appear and exactly how that choice has been expressed. A kind of "browse" list can be generated by typing a letter, letter combination or word in the text box. For instance, keying university will produce a list of libraries which have the word university in their "name".

Other choices in preferences may be set by Google (for instance, Canadian National Catalogue (Find in AMICUS) might be set for any computer with a Canadian ip) or it is possible that an institution or a vendor might ask Google® to set particular product lines for subscribing institutions. This is similar to Google® sending computers with a "Canadian" ip which request to

Level of Search

Scholar® offers a default and advanced search. As with many similar systems, the default search requires a greater knowledge of tagging and appropriate search set-up while the advanced search provides the user with drop-downs and prompts but neither the default or the advanced search offers all possibilities and capabilities, nor is it consistent with boolean logic and the help files. For instance:

A constructed default article search -- Articles excluding patents -- on intitle:"electronic commerce" provides no obvious way to control the date but once the search is run, the linked limit anytime appears. Clicking on that drop-down menu allows the user to control the date of future searches by selecting anytime or since xxxx. Replacing xxx with 2004 and running the search produces Results 1 - 10 of about 2,270

Recreating the same search in advanced search by entering electronic commerce in the box labeled with the exact phrase, choosing in the title of the article in the drop down labeled where my words occur, and setting the date produces a similar result.

Types of Material

When a search is completed, the results may include a variety of types:

[BOOK]Handbook of Research on Teaching Literacy Through the Communicative and Visual Arts.
J Flood, SB Heath, D Lapp - 1997 -
ED419223 - Handbook of Research on Teaching Literacy through the Communicative and Visual Arts. ...
Cited by 49 - Related articles - Cached - Web Search - Check for fulltext @ UNB - All 2 versions
In this case, although both the title and the Check for fulltext @ UNB are both linked, neither leads UNB users to a full-text copy. However, the title link does lead us to a full record and an abstract for the book.

[BOOK] The power of the center: A study of composition in the visual arts
R Arnheim - 1982 - University of California Press
Cited by 70 - Related articles - Web Search - Check for fulltext @ UNB - Find in AMICUS
In this case, the title is not hyperlinked. Scholar® has not found a link to the book which produces a table of contents, sample pages, an index, and/or publication information.

Bluegrass music and its misguided representation of Appalachia
S Sweet - Popular Music and Society, 1996 -
Page 1. Bluegrass Music and Its Misguided ... In this article I focus on bluegrass music and the role it plays in shaping understandings of life in Appalachia. ...
Cited by 3 - Related articles - Web Search - Check for fulltext @ UNB - BL Direct
In this case, the hyperlinked title will take you to an abstract, the full-text, or information on obtaining the article, depending on the computer ip and/or recognition by Informaworld.

The Folk Music Revival and the Counter Culture: Contributions and Contradictions
J Lund, RS Denisoff - Journal of American Folklore, 1971 -
Page 1. JENS LUND and R. SERGE DENISOFF The Folk Music Revival and the Counter Culture: Contributions and Contradictions" OBSERVERS ...
Cited by 9 - Related articles - Web Search - All 2 versions
In this case, the hyperlinked title will take you to an abstract, the full-text, or information on obtaining the article, depending on the computer ip and/or recognition by JSTOR.
The hyperlinked title is followed by the phrase all 2 versions, indicating that 2 hyperlinks to the same title exist through Scholar®

Method for enabling privacy and trust in electronic communities - all 2 versions
BA Huberman, TH Hogg, MK Franklin - US Patent 7,006,999, 2006 - Google Patents
... 10 FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to the field of electronic commerce, and in particular to a method for enabling privacy and trust in ...
Related Articles - Web Search - All 4 versions
Although Scholar® refers to this as an "article", it is a patent. Oddly, Scholar® does not list patents as a material type within Scholar®.

Possible Hyperlinked Searches

As well, results contain hypertext links allowing the user to perform other searches which might be desirable. Among the possibilities:

Cited by x
X other articles / items known to Scholar® have cited this article / item.

Related Articles
Clicking produces articles/items which Scholar® has deemed to be "similar" and thus related to the original article/item.

View as HTML
Scholar® generated an html version of this item automatically from its web crawl (the original item may have been a pdf or other document form).

Web Search
Scholar® has set up a keyword search designed to operate on "regular" Google® related to the article/item. For example, the Web Search link attached to Bluegrass music and its misguided representation of Appalachia produced the keyword search "Sweet" "Bluegrass music * its" on regular Google®.

BL Direct
This link takes the user to British Library Direct which allows the user to order the article in full-text and pay for it with a credit card.

Check for fulltext @ [an institution]
This link will appear if the user's institution has a link resolver and is in partnership with Google®; and if the appropriate preferences have been selected (an institution may have set this up to occur automatically within the institution).
Clicking on this link will cause a search of the link resolver system at the named institution, offering access to the item if it is determined to be available.

Functional Searches

Most Googles have searching capabilities which serve to limit your results in some way -- for instance, among other things, News lets you search by source and location; regular Google® and Images® let you search by filetype; and site searching works in regular Google®.

Scholar® incorporates many of the operators used by regular Google®: the plus sign to ensure the term is searched, the minus sign to eliminate the following word, phrase, etc, quote marks to phrase search, OR to search for either one or the other or both.

Scholar® allows a variety of field limits, some similar to those used in more familiar catalogues, bibliographic indexes and citation indexes. A couple of examples are:

author:"firstinitialsecondinitial lastname"
This supposedly restricts the search for terms to the author field. For instance, author:squiers produces records with the term squiers in the author field (TM Squiers, EC Squiers, ER Squiers, C Squiers, E Squiers ...) author:"er squiers" returns records with ER Squiers in the author field, and author:squiers author:thompson will produce records with the term squiers and the term thompson in the author field.

This restricts the search for terms to the title field.
Just remember, Scholar is a beta product and it is only as good as the tagging.

The Advanced Search page will allow users to incorporate other limits in their searches, such as: Date range for the year of publication of items and Publication for the journal title. The latter requires care as differing forms of the title may exist. By way of example:

A search on can. j. bot. for the date range 2005-2010 produces about 17 items while a search on canadian journal of botany for the date range 2005-2010 produces about 305 items.

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Google Books®

Books® is designed as both a marketing tool for publishers and as an "enhanced card catalog of the world's books" but it works as a collections development tool and a search engine for the contents of some books as well. It does not seem to be a sub-set of regular Google®, nor does regular Google® offer all the searchability offered in Books®.

Additionally, Books® includes the full-text of a number of periodical titles ranging from Popular Mechanics to Ebony to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to Scribner's Magazine.

Functional Searches

Like Scholar®, Books® incorporated operators used by regular Google®: the plus and minus signs, quote marks, OR and the like.

Once a search is completed, the user has a variety of options which appear down the side of the page, including:

Any view
Preview and full view
Full view

Any document

List view
Grid view

Any time
20th century
19th century
Custom range...

Sorted by relevance
Sorted by date

The Basic Search in Books® allows users to set some field limits, similar to those used in more familiar catalogues, bibliographic indexes and citation indexes.

This limits the results to items tagged as dealing with a particular subject.

This limits the results to a specific isbn: isbn:0786417420

The Advanced Search in Books® allows the user to perform similar types of searches by filling in the appropriate blanks; the system sets the field limit as requested.

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More "Sides"

Other sides of Google® can be found at

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This page created and maintained by Linda Hansen.
Comments and suggestions to:
Created: 2006/06/07 Last updated: 2011/11/06
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