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Pros/Cons of Google Scholar
Ways Google Scholar is useful:
- It may be useful to see what research is available on a subject of interest. It is a good place to begin your research, but not the only place to search for information.
- It can help a beginning researcher identify journal titles and authors connected with subjects of interest.
- It may be useful for finding "gray literature" like conference proceedings. It includes many articles that would not normally be included in other indexing sercives.
- It can be useful for locating obscure references that are proving difficult to find in conventional databases.
- It provides access to books and articles in a single search.
- It can be very helpful in locating more information on partial citations.
What Google Scholar is NOT good for:
- There is not a good, easy way to download or email search results into a bibliographic manager like endNote.
- You may get a long list of results, but you will only have immediate access to the text of articles that TCC has paid for, or that may be free on the web. Other items may or may not be be accessed through inter-library loan.
- Not all scholarly output is visible to Google Scholar, especially more recent articles.
- Not everything is peer-reviewed, nor can you search or filter by peer-review status.
- It is difficult to determine with 100% accuracy all that Google Scholar searches. Therefore, we do not know the breadth of what Google Scholar is indexing and consequently cannot judge the comprehensiveness or completeness of the results of a literature search.
- We cannot tell how frequently items in Google Scholar are updated.
- Searching Google Scholar is imprecise when compared with subject-specific databases.
- With Google Scholar you cannot:
- Search by peer review
- Sort/Search by disciplinary field
- Browse by title
- Limit search results
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