Why and where we search…
This quote is grabbed from a comment by Jean-Claude Bradley at bbgm in reply to my comment on Deepak’s post on my post on…. anyway my original comment was that our Wiki review would not be indexed on Google Scholar which is where people might go for literature searches
Getting on Google Scholar is something on my list to look into – if anyone knows how to do it please let us know. But from our Sitemeter tracking on UsefulChem it is clear that scientists are using Google to search for (and find) actionable scientific information.
Now this is an interesting point and it mirrors what I do. Jean-Claude has established that a lot of the ‘new’ traffic coming to UsefulChem comes from Google searches for specific information. Specific molecules in many cases but also spectra and other experimental data. If I’m looking for information, or a resource, scientific or otherwise, I will do a generic Google search for the most part (the most successful recent one was for ‘sticky apple pudding‘ – the result was very good indeed – see the Waitrose.com link).
But if I’m looking for scientific literature I will go to PubMed or sometimes to Google Scholar if I’m getting frustrated. I only ever use WOK for citation based searching (i.e. who cited a paper) or on the rare occasions when I’m looking for material that is not indexed in PubMed. Partly this is because I really like the ‘related items’ tab in PubMed. But what strikes me is that in my mind I have obviously divided these classes of searches up into two different things: ‘information/resources’ and ‘literature’. I bet this correlates quite strongly with both age and with scientific field. Do others out there think of these things as different or as all part of a continuum of information?
I recently saw a talk on a ‘Research Information Centre’ being developed by Microsoft, a sort of portal for handling research projects and all the associated information. This is at an early stage of development but one of the features they were working on was an integrated search where you could add and subtract various items (PubMed, WOK, Google, GoogleScholar, and various toll access info sources as well). GoogleScholar could do this well. So as Jean-Claude says above. Anybody got any contacts with the developers? We could just talk to them…