|Screen shot of Google Scholar, a "pre-research" tool for researchers|
I like to think of Google Scholar as a "pre-research" or useful adjunct to the more targeted and dynamic academic research that students should carry out through the library resources at their individual universities (if you check under the Resources tab on this blog's home page, you will see I have added a quick Google Scholar search widget for your convenience). Covering peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, and other scholarly literature from all broad areas of research, Google Scholar does provide a good starting point and has the added benefit of identifying full-text sources for articles—this is a terrific feature since these links can often be accessed with a simple click if you are logged into your home university library and that library subscribes to the journal database the article is housed with. Still, many critics of Google scholar are correct to point out the search engine’s deficiencies (see this article for a good example of what to consider), and I agree that Google Scholar should be used as part of a broader arsenal of research tools.
CBC's Tod Maffin has produced a very useful four part series,“Secret Google Tips for Researchers,” on the official blog of the CBC InsideTheCBC.com that I have compiled on a YouTube playlist for your convenience. Here is Part One embedded below: