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Library partners with "Google Scholar"

Dartmouth College Library (DCL) has announced a partnership with Google to participate in the development of the Internet company's new beta search engine, Google Scholar (www.scholar.google.com). DCL is providing links to commercial content licensed for use at the College for this service that searches the Web specifically for scholarly material.

"Many faculty members and students value the search features in Google," said Barbara DeFelice, Head of Kresge Physical Sciences Library. "Because of this strong user interest, we are working with Google from the outset in the hopes that we can ensure broad access to that information, and help our users identify peer-reviewed, quality content."

A Google Scholar search explores the open Web, as well as the databases of publishers and aggregators with whom Google already has standing arrangements. The scholarly materials indexed include peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints and abstracts. Sources of these materials include academic publishers, professional societies and universities, as well as from the wide variety of scholarly articles already available online. Just as with a standard Google Web search, Google Scholar then organizes these results by how relevant they are to a query. 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. If a document is not available online, the search results may include citations of older works and articles that appear only in print.

"Google Scholar accesses a wide variety of databases, which means that users may be asked to pay for access to the full text of some materials," said James Fries, Head of Feldberg Business & Engineering Library. "Since the Library has purchased access for the Dartmouth community to much of that material, we have an arrangement with Google whereby users accessing Google Scholar through the Dartmouth computer network or the College's Virtual Private Network will be provided with a link called Resources@Dartmouth, which appears immediately after the article title in the Google Scholar citation. Through a service called ArticleLinker, the Resources@Dartmouth link will offer access to the library catalog, where users can verify library holdings, as well as to DartDoc, DCL's document delivery service which allows users to request materials from sources off campus."

The Resources@Dartmouth link is only available for current Dartmouth students, faculty and staff; outside users do not have free access to this service.

While Google Scholar is an improvement on a regular Google search, DeFelice and her peers emphasize that a Google Scholar search should only be a part of a person's research. "Google Scholar currently has access to only a fraction of the scholarly research available in proprietary databases. It remains less consistent, less thorough and in many cases, less current than the Library's many existing article indexes."

DCL will be providing an information session about Google Scholar and how to use it and other library resources for online research. Sessions will be held:

  • Wednesday, Oct.19, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in the Starr Instructional Center, room 274 on the second floor of Berry Library.
  • Thursday, Oct. 20, 3 to 4 pm in the Berry Instructional Center, room 61 on the first floor of Carson Hall.

Please register ahead of time at the workshops link on the Library's Education and Outreach site: www.dartmouth.edu/~leo/. E-mail Jane.Quigley@dartmouth.edu or call 646-3564 for details.

By JOEL AALBERTS

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Last Updated: 12/17/08