Google Scholar. I just found out about this new Google search feature last night. It is a search engine to look for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from broad areas of research. Of course, only full-text material that is on the Web is included.
I have mixed feelings. I like the idea of making such a web product that makes it simple to find scholarly material online. However, I fear students who only use online resources will become dependent on this service and refuse to use the vast majority of scholarly material that is only in print. I also note that there is material in Google Scholar that I would not consider scholarly at all. This could be nice if Google manually reviews and includes only high quality sites. It will be impossible for spam sites to get in the results!
From the site:
Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.
Just as with Google Web Search, Google Scholar orders your search results by how relevant they are to your query, so the most useful references should appear at the top of the page. This relevance ranking takes into account the full text of each article as well as the article's author, the publication in which the article appeared and how often it has been cited in scholarly literature. Google Scholar also automatically analyzes and extracts citations and presents them as separate results, even if the documents they refer to are not online. This means your search results may include citations of older works and seminal articles that appear only in books or other offline publications.
Please let us know if you have suggestions, questions or comments about Google Scholar. We recognize the debt we owe to all those in academia whose work has made Google itself a reality and we hope to make Google Scholar as useful to this community as possible. We believe everyone should have a chance to stand on the shoulders of giants.