Discovery Tools vs. Google

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Google scholar provides an advanced search screen which is only marginally better than the main search page
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Contents

Last Update

  • Updated.jpg 10 August 2013

Introduction

See also EBooks | Google Books | Google 2.0 Workshops | Google scholar bibliography | Open search

Asher et al

  • In 2011, researchers at Bucknell University and Illinois Wesleyan University compared the search efficacy of Serial Solutions Summon, EBSCO Discovery Service, Google Scholar and conventional library databases. Using a mixed-methods approach, qualitative and quantitative data was gathered on students’ usage of these tools. Regardless of the search system, students exhibited a marked inability to effectively evaluate sources and a heavy reliance on default search settings. On the quantitative benchmarks measured by this study, the EBSCO Discovery Service tool outperformed the other search systems in almost every category. This article describes these results and makes recommendations for libraries considering these tools.

Head & Eisenberg

  • Evaluating information is often a collaborative process — almost 2/3rds of respondents (61%) turn to friends and family members when they need help and advice with sorting through and evaluating information for personal use. Nearly half of the students in the sample (49%) asked instructors for assistance with assessing the quality of sources for course work — far fewer asked librarians (11%) for assistance.

Chen

  • Chen's article reports on an empirical study using a 2005 study as a base to compare Google scholar's coverage of scholarly journals with commercial services. Through random samples of eight databases, the author finds that, as of 2010, Google Scholar covers 98 to 100 percent of scholarly journals from both publicly accessible web contents and from subscription-based databases that Google Scholar partners with. In 2005, the coverage of the same databases ranged from 30 to 88 percent. The author explores de-duplication of search results by Google scholar and discusses its impacts on searches and library resources. With the dramatic improvement of Google scholar, the uniqueness and effectiveness of subscription-based abstracts and indexes have dramatically changed.

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