Google is full of helpful tools, web sites, and search engines. One such search engine is Googlescholar.com. This site is a bibliographic database that is filled with scholarly literature, which focuses on academic research. The majority of academic publishing is in thesis, book, or journal form. Even though most branches of knowledge have their own types of publications, Google Scholar brings them all together into one database.
Searching for articles or sections of text that focus on a particular academic discipline is relatively quick with this scholarly search engine. The option to make an advanced scholar search or adjust the scholar preferences for a search is also possible. When trying to locate specific articles, the option to include patents in the search is available. There is even the choice of searching for legal opinions and journals, as opposed to articles.
The saying, ‘Stand on the shoulders of giants’ is displayed below the search box. This advertising slogan is a sort of salute to the many scholars that have made personal contributions to their fields of study over the centuries. If it wasn’t for the dedication of these scholars, then many intellectual achievements would have gone undiscovered.
Google Books was available before this scholarly search engine was in place and also provided literary works. However, it was more difficult to limit the searches to just academic journals and portions of books that dealt with specific branches of knowledge. Google Scholar arose around three years after Google Books and was able to not only host, but also digitize scholarly journal articles. This feature enables articles to be identified in the actual issue they came from. Before this technology was in place, articles from older journals were scanned, but knowing which issue they came out of was difficult to find.
Users are able to search online or in libraries for both physical and digital copies of scholarly articles. This search engine is just as easy to use as the basic Google search engine. The Advanced Scholar Search option enables users to narrow down their search even more. This tool provides options to include specific words in the search, omit words, find exact phrases, locate articles that only contain one specific word, and even choose where these words or phrases are located in the article itself.
Searches can be made according to the author of the literary piece, the publication it came out of, or the date that it was published between. Collections of certain subject areas may also be searched. For instance, if the publication deals with Planetary Science, then this collection can be marked on the Advanced Search page. This will greatly refine the search being made.
When refining the search for legal opinions and journals, there are options to search them all, federal court opinions, or opinions of courts in a specific state. The Scholar Preferences page allows the user to display Google messages and tips in more than 40 languages. The literary pages searched for can be in any language or a designated language. Only 13 languages can be chosen from for this latter search feature.
The option to search collections is also available on this page, as well as being able to access library links. This is an excellent feature for users who need to do research, but are unable to access the library during the times it is open. Most library subscriptions that are available online are restricted to people who have a membership with that particular library. As long as the user has a paid membership, then usually any literary work that is in possession of the library can be viewed.
Choosing the option to have the top 10 search results displayed each time is common, but this is yet another preference that can be altered. Other options include 20, 30, 50, or 100 results shown per search.
These search results can be shown in a new browser window as well. The final option on this page includes choosing whether or not to show links to important citations. After adjustments have been made to this preference page, the changes are saved and the user can then return to the search page.
The documents used on Googlescholar.com are ranked according to a variety of stipulations. Each literary piece is ranked in a similar fashion that researchers rank documents. The entire text of the document is weighed, who wrote the information, where publication occurred, how recently it has been cited, and how often it has been cited in other works. Google has definitely provided a search engine that makes it much easier to research and basically maneuver through the literary works of the many academic disciplines.