Friday, November 19, 2004

Google Scholar

Google has a new search engine which is intended for more academic use compared to the all-purpose regular Google. In my business, we rely a lot on Entrez-Pubmed , which is maintained by the public National Center for Biotechnology Information. But just regular Google is often so powerful that I look for additional information using that database as well.
So I clicked on over and typed in a few searches. The first thing I noticed was that most of my hits were research articles. In fact, many of the links for older articles seemed to lead right back to Entrez-PubMed, making me think that even as Microsoft is picking Google's pocket, Google's robots are busy at the NCBI.

The second thing I noticed, which I think is a possible improvement over PubMed, is that the Google hits tell you how many times a given link has been further cited. I have described in the past how young faculty live or die based on the scientific citation index of the journals in which they publish. It looks to me that Google has an independent way of measuring how important an article is in the internet world. This could get interesting....

So all in all, I'm pretty impressed. I do think I'll use it in my daily work, as it seems to cast a broader net than PubMed. I will miss the sort of oddball hits that come up with a conventional Google search though.

I showed two or three of my colleagues and they're all searching for their own names(I'm also guilty!)

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