[ExI] Google Scholar
anders at aleph.se
Sun Jan 8 09:57:15 UTC 2012
On 2012-01-07 21:20, Natasha Vita-More wrote:
> Does anyone know how Google Scholar selects its material?
It most likely uses heuristic web crawling. It looks for material that
either *looks* like academic text or is in an academic repository (which
might also be deduced by some text mining algorithm). So it is not
entirely reliable, but then again, academic journals are not entirely
My own experience is that when casting your net widely about a topic
scholar is useful. When you want to find high quality articles about
something you already know roughly "where" it is dedicated search
systems and indices like Pubmed and Sciencedirect are better. But when
you want to see if there is *anything* about something, even in remote
disciplines, then scholar is useful.
Overall, academic search is an interesting skill. In my job I often have
to look up unfamiliar topics, often without even knowing what they are
called. This leads to an interesting iterative search where I try to
find topics closer to what I want, use their terminology to find
something even closer, and so on. Once I get near my quarry I start
looking at papers they cite (ever Introduction section in every paper is
essentially a mini-review about the topic!) and papers that cite them.
Following those links and repeating I try to find the core papers
everybody cites or review everything, and it is those that I finally sit
down and read properly.
What I really would like is a structure-based search engine that could
find me theorems linking concept A and B, and using methods from domain C.
Future of Humanity Institute
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