No, we’re not kidding. Many info pros, academics, students, and Google groupies have wondered for a long time if Google would ever create a Google Scholar Blog.
Well, as of today, it’s now available. You can find it at:
The first Google Scholar Blog post focuses on Google Scholar Alerts (not to be be confused with Google Alerts).
Those of you who read/skim/scan ResourceShelf on a regular basis (thanks!) are slightly ahead of the curve on this topic. Google Scholar Alerts debuted about five weeks ago and we posted an overview of the service on opening day along with a few ideas about other services worth a look.
While compiling our May post we were also very fortunate to have an e-mail chat with Anurag Acharya, Distinguished Engineer at Google and Founding Engineer of Google Scholar. He was invaluable in making sure we were clear on several points.
Today’s Google Scholar post also provides a bit of info about something many have wondered about for a long time. How often is the Google Scholar database updated with new material.
We now add new articles to Google Scholar twice a week; we plan to further increase this frequency.
Now, if we could get a catalog of some of what’s in the database. While a lot of majority of material is found via web crawls, there are some Google Scholar sources from academic and other publishers. A directory of just these titles would be a great start.
We’ve been running several Google Scholar Alerts since day one and two things are worth mentioning at this point.
1) You might want to begin with a broad search but BE PREPARED to come back to focus and develop a more precise query to eliminate the many false drops you’ll likely receive with a more general query. As the blog post points out, personal names can often be a challenge.
2) It’s important if not essential to think “scholar or scholarly” in the broadest sense of the term. In other words, if you or those you’re working with are only looking for published peer-reviewed articles, using a database that allows the searcher to limit to only this type of material might be a more effective use of their time.
It’s probably a good idea to do some preemptive searching with Google Scholar so you can get an idea of what is and is not in the database.