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Why wouldn’t I just use Google Scholar?
April 20 at 10:00 am - 10:50 amFree
Google Scholar is an excellent tool for any academic to have in their pocket. But like all tools, it’s designed for specific use cases; without understanding how and why it’s been designed, we risk losing a nuanced perspective on research and the information landscape.
In contrast to traditional library databases, Google Scholar is probably best described as a search index as opposed to a citation index. Google Scholar is remarkably good at returning relevant content with fantastic ranking algorithms. But this relevancy is not without its pitfalls. How Google Scholar selects what it returns is a black box; the ranking and sorting algorithms of the software and the scope, extent, and variability of its database are not transparent. The fallout of this includes an increased risk of bias and an inability to scope the extent of published evidence on a topic.
In this session, two librarians will describe how Google Scholar works, explore how to use it effectively, and address how it can complement other structured sources of published literature available through the library. Participants are invited to bring examples of specific research questions that they would like to explore using Google Scholar.