inside the man

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Google Scholar's competitors are not impressed

Libraries would be well advised to consider this Thompson Gale review of Google Scholar that was slashdotted today.

"The Thomson Gale publishing group has put together a comprehensive review of Google Scholar, and they find it highly lacking compared with similar offerings from Highwire Press, Scopus, and The Web of Science. Will Google's overhyped offerings drive these superior services out of the market?"

While this is a detailed and useful review, of particular interest to academic librarians, it shows more than one sign of desperate FUD on the part of Gale - such as the final paragraph of the review,

"I dread the moment when ill-informed administrators at mediocre universities pushing asynchronous distance education and other ideas to cut costs will quote Mr. Velterop and others when canceling Scopus, WoS and other citation-enhanced databases because they believe that Google Scholar is better. Then they will cut library jobs and eliminate those costly libraries. And then ... you figure out the rest."

The article is correct in saying that for sophisticated users, Google Scholar pales in comparison to its two main commercial competitors Scopus and WoS. However, it is pretty darn good for a free resource. Who knows how good it will be once it is out of beta?

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Returned to working as a Management Consultant, specializing in risk, security, and regulatory compliance, with Fujitsu Canada after running the IT shop in the largest library in the South Pacific.

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