Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Academic Search Tools

Online resources can account for a significant portion of research for both students and faculty. The primary options for gathering online resources have been to a) spend time finding the material online, and then spend additional time making sure the resource is legitimate, and b) accessing online material from journals and books through the library system.

While both of these options will get results, there are some new search engines available to help you find reliable resources that you can use in your research, as well as material that you can incorporate into your courses:

Google Scholar is a Google-based search engine that returns scholarly results (which helps to ‘weed out’ undesirable websites). Peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, journals, and other literature may all be included in the search results. Google Scholar also allows submissions, so your works can be included in this search engine if you wish.

Google Books is another one of Google’s specialty search engines. A search here will return a list of books related to the keywords you are searching on. In some cases you are able to view the full book online directly in Google Books without having to check it out at a library or purchase it in a store. In all cases you will get full bibliographic data and links that allow you to locate libraries or stores that have the physical book available.

Similar to Google Scholar, Microsoft’s Academic Live Search (still in its Beta phase) may return bibliographical information, abstract, or full text versions of scholarly articles.

These search engines are an excellent tool for saving time and locating resources that you may have otherwise had to do some ‘footwork’ to access.

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