Is Google Scholar good for clinicians?

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This post courtesy of Anne Taylor-Vaisey: This thoughtful article about Google Scholar appears in the June 7 (current) issue of CMAJ. The author is Jim Henderson, director of the McGill University Medical Library. He is skeptical of the value of GS for practising physicians, at least at this time. I understand his conclusions, but we have to remember that Google Scholar was only born last November and is therefore still an infant. I find GS useful in a serendipidous way, and I also like the Cited By feature. It will be interesting to see what develops in the next couple of years. Have a look here: http://scholar.google.com.

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Henderson J. Google Scholar: A source for clinicians? CMAJ 2005; 172(12):1549-1550.

Excerpts: The release of the beta version of Google Scholar in November 2004 generated much media coverage and academic commentary. With this service, Google hopes to make scholarly literature more accessible by indexing academic and professional sources, including peer-reviewed articles, preprints, theses and conference proceedings. This overview evaluates Scholar as an alternative for clinicians seeking information.

Google's launch of Scholar indicates the growing sophistication of Internet searchers! . It addresses concerns about the quality of information found on the Internet and integrates previously inaccessible, high-quality commercial sites with more reliable sites available on the public Internet. Google Scholar may develop into a free, sophisticated tool, but, at least in the beta version, it is not a useful choice for clinicians.

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