Google Scholar in the Chronicle

Today’s Chronicle of Higher Ed has a story that offers more information about the development and release of Google Scholar:

The service combines many features the company has developed in partnerships with colleges and library groups. …some librarians worry that students will stop using library databases, journals, and books, many of which are not indexed by Google.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Google Scholar in the Chronicle

  1. david

    “Google officials also would not say how they determine exactly what material counts as scholarly, or how Google Scholar decides which results are more relevant than others.”
    –from the Chronicle article
    Does anyone else find this problematic? (Yes: http://www.resourceshelf.com/2004/11/wow-its-google-scholar.html) How dare Big Brother Google determine intellectual value! They must make their policy public to ensure open exchange of ideas. That, however, is not enough. We need an open source alternative.
    No advertising? Well… not quite. Is Google itself not a brand? Do you not see the Google logo from the search page? C’mon! The emperor has no clothes!

  2. Sarah Lohnes

    David, points all very well taken. Google is totally a brand, which is the main reason I think that librarians might be feeling threatened. As you pointed out, it ain’t cause of the quality of the content! Though I do take issue with this quote from the resource shelf article that you linked to:
    ” In a nutshell, Google has built an algorithm that makes a calculated guess at to *what it thinks* is a scholarly content mined from the OPEN WEB, and then makes it accessible via the Google Scholar interface.”
    Note the emphasis on OPEN WEB. OPEN WEB! GOD NO! 😉 I think we might be standing at ground zero in the knowledge wars that we were talking about – maybe expensive journals and the closed circle of scholars are holding less weight than they used to? Clearly not for resource shelf, but perhaps for others, particularly those in the blogosphere. Then again, it’s a hard habit to shake. Like you said, we’ll go to Google cause it’s… Google.
    btw, I love your fake email addresses!

  3. gus

    as a frustrated academic routinely consulting about a half dozen databases of scholarly work, I can’t help but feel a little thrill of vindictiveness that google scholar has appeared on the scene. Having a hundred balkanized journal databases is no way to further academic inquiry.
    I do agree, though, with the cri de coeur begging for the Ford Foundation, the UN, or the Library of Congress to develop a universal search engine for books and scholarly materials. It would be better to have one of those groups doing it than Google, especially in light of the sobering stuff on google-watch. (thanks for pointing that out, David.)

  4. david

    i’m not suggesting anything on the google-watch.org site is true. or if its false. just that it exists as a website with content. ok, mabye i won’t go that far either.

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