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Friday, 2nd July 2010

New from Google Scholar: Search Within Cited Articles

Something new from the Google Scholar today. It's a feature that has been requested by many users. You can now search within sets cited articles, legal opinions, and law journals. The Google Scholar Blog has more but let's run through a search using this new option.

1. Run a Google Scholar Search using any of the features you normally use. Since this post is about citation indexing, let's use what is one of the first, if not these first article on the topic of citation indexing. The paper, "Citation Indexes for Science: A New Dimension in Documentation through Association of Ideas," by the father of citation indexing, Dr. Eugene Garfield. It was originally published in Science (122.3159) in 1955.

1A. Google Scholar has the full text article from several publications available for free. Interestingly, we had to go through one page of results to the 11th entry to find the actual reprint of the article appearing on Dr. Garfield's web site. You might think this would be the first result not number eleven. While many sites provide free access to the article others do not. How does an end user know which one to select when they see multiple versions of the same article?

2. Let's continue as a typical search might do by using the first result in the results list, a reprint of the article from a 2006 issue of International Journal of Epidemiology. It will take two clicks*** to get to the full text. Here it is. It's absolutely worth reading.

3. Now, go back to the Google Scholar results page and in the lower left corner (below the snippet) look for a link that reads, "cited by" and then a number. In this case, "cited by 788."

4. What's new today is that once you click on the cited by link not only do you find links to the 788 articles in the Google Scholar database that cite Dr. Gafield's 1955 article. In addition to the articles you'll also see a checbox directly below the search box that if checked/ticked allows you to search within those 788 articles.

5. Check the box and search for the word "librarian" in those 788 articles. We found approx. 167 hits.

Example 2: If we limit the search to the phrase "scholarly communication" we found three hits.

Finally, we wanted to see how many and what type of articles cite Garfield and use the word tenure or the phrase academic tenure". The answer, approx. 97. However, seeing duplicated titles at number five and six out of about 100 results each with a different number of versions is just confusing.

6. If you use the advanced search box, you should see word "references" (bottom of the first section) followed by the paper you selected earlier. Of course, you can change or remove it at anytime. If you prefer using Google search operators, they"ll also work as you know from any Google Scholar search box.

Now that wasn't difficult and the added functionality provides a lot more research power to see how Dr. Garfield's seminal paper has been used/discussed/cited during the past 55 years.

7. All of the "search within" features we've been discussing also work when searching opinions and legal journals.

Example: Brown v. Board of Education, or 347 US 483 - Supreme Court 1954.

You see that this historic case has been cited 23,708 by other materials in the Google Scholar database. Now, select "search within" (below the main search box) and run a search. We searched "Detroit Public Schools" and received approx. 147 hits that appear in other opinions, law journals, other types of journals and books.

Sources: Google Scholar Blog and ResourceShelf

*** When we ran the search it appears that there are no stopwords. Even letters within words are highlights. Click the first result and you'll be able to immediately se what we

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