The Pioneer Post

The Pioneer Post is a resource for online students that provides tips and information about distance education.


Friday, September 26, 2008

By now, it’s very likely that you’ve heard of or used Google’s standard search engine. It’s also a good bet that you’ve used it to find sources for a research paper. Here’s a few tips to generate even better search results so you aren’t poring through countless sources that may or may not be appropriate for a college-level research assignment. If you go to and click on “more” at the very top of the page, you’ll see a list of valuable extensions of Google.

Google Scholar: For those that need peer-reviewed, scholarly sources. This should be quicker than maneuvering through countless library databases.

Google Books: Search inside countless books for useful material. Generally, the search will take you directly to the page you’re looking for. It looks like Google is also working on a partner program so you can physically borrow the book from some provider. Beats having to buy one…

Google Video: If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a video by a subject matter expert worth? From my experience, I think Google’s video lists are easier to quickly scan than YouTube’s.

Post a comment to let me know what you think. How did the sources work for your research? There's also quite a few other cool features that may not specifically help you with a research paper but may make your life easier (i.e. Google Docs).



Anonymous Gary Apperson said...

An interesting article on Google Scholar, Book, and Images, however, I would make the case that Google is "not ready for prime time" as far as a serious research tool for college level papers.

Why? Because most of the Google Scholar searches take you to a pay/subscription login site. In other words, there is typically a cost involved to access the scholarly articles. Students already have a much better deal with their access to the Karrmann Library research databases.

That is not to say that Google Scholar is not without some legitimate (and free) uses. One example would be in the initial research stages of reviewing article abstracts - typically these are available for no charge utilizing Google Scholar. Google Books is a mixed bag - it mostly contains older books that are public domain, or access to the newer books - for a price. I find Google video interesting, but of limited use at this point.

A better option over Google Scholar is to access scholarly research material through local library websites. Once your sign into your local library's website, there is typically a pathway to an electronic doorway that allows access to the scholarly peer-reviewed databases - for free.

October 7, 2008 at 3:47 PM  

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