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Google Scholar Library

LibraryAmong Google’s tools for getting work done, we here at ProfHacker have long been fans of Google Scholar. It’s a useful tool for finding good sources, it can be used to track citations to your work, and setting up an alert in Google Scholar is a great way to keep track of new publications on a topic.

Google keeps developing the service, and a few weeks ago, they addd a new feature: Google Scholar Library. That blog entry and the service’s help page explain quite well how to use this new feature, so I won’t go into detail about that here.

Instead, I’ll note what I like about Scholar Library thus far. All are features available for all articles in Google Scholar; what’s new is the ability to save particular articles for easy access.

  • Like Google Scholar generally, it lets you know when there are local holdings available for the sources you’re looking at.
  • If more than one version of the resource is available, it lets you know, and provides you with the information needed to locate each version.
  • Information about what other articles cite your source is regularly updated. This feature is especially helpful if you’re trying to track an ongoing debate as it continues to unfold.

The only thing that I don’t particularly like is the fact that Scholar’s coverage skews toward more traditional publishing venues (though it does include repositories, as well). For some fields, that coverage isn’t sufficient.

That said, what Google Scholar does, it does well, and the Library feature is a welcome addition.

Have you tried the new Library feature in Google Scholar? If so, how well is it working for you? If you have other tools to recommend for keeping up to date on citations, feel free to share those recommendations, too.

[Creative Commons licensed Flickr photo by nazareth_college]

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