Q. How do I use Google Scholar to search the libraries resources?
Before you use Google Scholar be aware of the issues.
What is Google Scholar (GS) and how does it work?
Google scholar is a search engine that is free. It searches and finds articles, theses, books , online repositories and publishers. Some important publishers of academic journals are not included in Google Scholar, and the relevancy ranking of some publishers can be one sided. Even though GS covers all topics (multi- disciplinary) it has more science and technology articles than business and humanities.Google uses a machine to index the articles , whereas a library database such as Emerald, JSTOR or Science Direct is indexed by humans. This means the search results, ability to search and control over your searches will always be better.
Be aware of the pros and cons of Google Scholar
There has been an increase in what is known as "Predatory Publishing" in Google Scholar in the last 10 years. This is where journal publishers use "questionable practices" and little or no, or poor peer review and accept sub standard articles for publication. This is the case in particular for health and biomedical science.
Another disadvantage of using Google scholar is that you are likely to be asked to use your credit card to purchase the articles. Another disadvantage of Google scholar is the lack of control over your searches. On the plus side, Google scholar is easy to use, and contains a lot of data.
Sometimes a book is better
In recent years we have noticed a larger emphasis on journal articles as being a students most important source of information, and while they are very important, you might need to learn the topic first in detail and for that a text book is usually better. You wont get access to our 190,000 ebooks and our collection of print books unless you go through EOLAS or a library database.
What about the library?
As professional librarians we always recommend that you search our discovery tool (EOLAS) and the library databases first as these are the online and print resources that have been purchased for you. They have been tailored for your courses and will not require your credit card.
However Google Scholar can be a useful tool. A search in Google Scholar finds such a huge amount of results , across all disciplines. It can be handy as a way of narrowing and confirming your search terms. It can also be a good way to find theses in your research area. Be aware that NOT everything in Google Scholar is peer reviewed however and the quality, accuracy and bias of the articles will have to be evaluated by you.
How EOLAS works
We push our catalogue records (print book records from https://libsearch.itsligo.ie) twice a week to EOLAS. We have also added our IT Sligo Institutional Repository (Research@THEA) and as many of our library databases as we can. This means you can search a lot of full text resources all at once that we have subscribed for you to use. If in doubt what is included in EOLAS you can check our updated A-Z Database List where we include that infomation.
If you are getting errors in EOLAS please please let us know. All you have to do is to email the record to us with a note (put your email in if you want a reply)
Online learners might have issues accessing EOLAS from their workplaces. Please see a guide for you in the links section.