In what ways does Google Scholar fall short?

In what ways does Google Scholar fall short?

One thing to keep in mind is that Google Scholar is a search engine for people from a variety of different scholarly disciplines, and that people in different fields have different needs when searching. Jae Won Joh's answer, for example, is a good description of how to tailor Google Scholar for his needs, but wouldn't be very useful for people in the Humanities, or for me, as an Anthropologist. 

There are plenty of scholarly disciplines where books are widely used, and impact factors aren't taken into consideration. Similarly Jae and others have criticized Google Scholar for indexing alternative medical journals, but presumably they are useful for people doing research on alternative medicine. 

We can all think of disciplines, journals and scholars that we don't find reliable or valid, but I don't want Google to be an arbiter of what counts as scholarship. I'm more than capable of making that determination on my own.

Based on that, I think it would be good for Google Scholar to allow you to customize your search settings and save them as a default. That way people could taylor it to their own research needs and not have to reset it every time they start. Right now there aren't enough settings for that to be necessary, but if there were more it would be useful.

Right now you can search within the journal title and either the article title, or full text simultaneously. It would be good to be able to search in the abstract as well, and to be able to search for more than one field at a time. Some journal databases allow you to add as many search terms in as many fields as you'd like, including AND, OR, and NOT settings.

Being able to search articles by citations would be helpful as well. That is, if I'm looking for an article on branding from a Science and Technology Studies perspective I would like to be able to search for articles with the keyword "branding" that cite either Michel Callon or Bruno Latour.

It would also be helpful to set the disciplinary fields you want to search within - that way people who don't want to search alternative medical journals could just click a box to exclude them.

For More Technology Blogs write for us just visit the website or email us at

Post a Comment