Google Scholar: Information for all

“Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.”

This is a really important and exciting development from Google. And it works! Here's something of mine from the archives. There are links from articles in Google Scholar search results to electronic copies in online journals. In terms of access to the published literature, this is potentially a great service to the public, which is important because so much of basic research is publicly funded. I say potentially a great service becuase not everyone will have access to all of the electronic journals and sources that Google searches. For accessible content use the Public Library of Science, a more established service committed to making the scientific and medical literature freely available to the public.

In related news, the UK National Health Service announced the lauch of the National Library for Health.

“The National Library for Health is the next natural step in the development of NHS library services. By developing an integrated and federated service, the National Library for Health will enable us to meet the various challenges of delivering knowledge and information services in the 21st Century.”

The Programme Director is Ben Toth who maintains a weblog on digital library topics.