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					Google Scholar vs. Academic Search
Premier: What Libraries and
Searchers Need to Know
  Ingrid Hsieh-Yee, Professor
  The Catholic University of America
  hsiehyee@cua.edu
  John Coogan, Systems Librarian
  University of Maryland University College
  jcoogan@umuc.edu



  Bridging the Spectrum Symposium
  Catholic University of America
  January 29, 2010
BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY
Project Purpose:
How do these research tools stack up?

   Google Scholar (GS):
    Indexes “peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from
    academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities
    and other scholarly organizations.” (About Google Scholar)
   Academic Search Premier (ASP):
    “contains indexing and abstracts for over 8,450 journals, with full text for more
    than 4,650 of those titles. PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well
    over one hundred journals, and searchable cited references are provided for
    more than 1,000 titles.” Includes “full text for more than 3,700 peer-reviewed
    titles”. (Ebsco Publishing)
Methodology: Search Topics

Topics in science and technology

  1) What are the causes and treatment options for plantar
     fasciitis?

  2) Is brain development in children a good indication of their
     intelligence?

  3) How is hurricane intensity or strength related to global
     warming?

  4) What do we know about the language development of
     internationally adopted children?
Methodology: Data Collection and Analysis

   Two searchers: Searching the four topics in GS and ASP in 2008 and 2009

   Search terms: Combined by “AND” for all searches

   Date limit: Since 2004

   Top 10 items: Top10 items of each search set are examined for relevance, full
    text availability, full text effort, currency, and overlap.
Basic Searches

   ASP basic searches conducted in six modes:

    All items:
    1) MT: Metadata search - default search mode
    2) FT: Metadata+full text search
    3) SMT: Smart Text Search

    Academic Journals only for scholarly publications:
    4) MT/AJ: Metadata search - default search mode
    5) FT/AJ: Metadata+full text search (most comparable
       to GS in database scope and retrieval)
    6) SMT/AJ: Smart Text Search

   GS basic searches conducted in default search mode
Advanced Searches

   ASP advanced searches conducted in three modes:

    Adv1) SU: all terms in subject field
    Adv2) SU+MT: one term in subject and the rest in metadata
    Adv3) SU+MT+FT+RT: one term in subject and the rest in metadata, plus full
      text and related terms




   GS advanced searches qualified by specifying subject categories
RESULTS
       BASIC SEARCHES
R=Relevant MR=Marginally Relevant NR=Not Relevant
     Average Number of
      Hits per Search

ASP Metadata AJ            66

ASP Full Text AJ         4117

ASP Smart Text AJ   304412

Google Scholar       10048
                          Relevance
  100%
          14%       18%                20%
                              26%               28%
   80%    9%
                    14%
                              15%      20%
   60%                                          21%         NR
                                                            MR
   40%    77%       68%                                     R
                              59%      60%      51%
   20%

    0%
           ASP      ASP       ASP      ASP       GS
           MT       MT         FT      SMT
                     AJ        AJ       AJ

Best Relevant Results: ASP MT (77% R)
Worst Relevant Results: GS (51% R, plus most NR, most MR)
                Full Text Availability
100%                            85%
 80%      70%        68%                   64%   64%
 60%
 40%
 20%
  0%
          ASP        ASP        ASP        ASP   GS
          MT         MT          FT        SMT
                      AJ         AJ         AJ

Most FT Availability: ASP FT AJ (85%)
Second best: ASP MT (70%)
Least in FT Availability: GS, ASP SMT AJ (64%)
           Full Text Effort (# of clicks)
 4.0
                                                    3.3
 3.0

 2.0     1.5         1.6                      1.7
                                 1.2
 1.0

 0.0
         ASP         ASP         ASP          ASP   GS
         MT          MT           FT          SMT
                      AJ          AJ           AJ


Least effort needed: ASP FT AJ (1.2 clicks)
Most effort needed: GS (3.3 clicks)
       FT Available with Only One Click
100%                              91%
          75%         72%                  75%
 80%
                                                 55%
 60%
 40%
 20%
  0%
           ASP        ASP         ASP      ASP   GS
           MT         MT           FT      SMT
                       AJ          AJ       AJ

Percentage of one-click full text items:
Highest: ASP FT AJ (91%)
Lowest: GS (55%)
                       Currency
   100%     7%       14%     21%      15%     16%
    80%     32%                                          2008-9
                     33%
                                      40%
    60%                      47%              50%        2006-7
                                                         2004-5
    40%
            61%      54%
    20%                               45%
                             32%              35%

     0%
            ASP      ASP     ASP      ASP      GS
            MT       MT       FT      SMT
                      AJ      AJ       AJ

2004-05: ASP MT (61%)
2006-07: GS (50%)
2008-08: ASP FT AJ (21%), although neither system retrieves
many
                         Overlap
100%              88%      91%
         84%
80%                                    71%
                                             Top10 overlap w/GS
60%
                                             System overlap
40%    26%      26%      25%
20%
                                   0
 0%
        ASP      ASP      ASP       GS
        MT        FT      SMT
         AJ       AJ       AJ

Top 10 Overlap:
        ASP Searches: Up to 26% overlap with GS top 10

System Overlap:
       ASP top 10: Up to 91% indexed by GS
       GS top 10: 71% indexed by ASP
ADVANCED SEARCHES
          ASP Advanced Searches
 100%
          14%
                   27%      23%                28%
  80%     9%                          35%
                   0%        8%
  60%                                 11%      21%
                                                          NR

  40%     77%                                             MR
                   73%      69%
                                      53%      51%        R
  20%

   0%
          ASP      ASP        ASP       ASP     GS
         Basi c   Adv1       Adv2      Adv3    Basi c
         (MT)      (SU)    (SU+MT)   (SU+MT
                                     +FT+RT)

ASP Advanced vs. ASP Basic (MT): ASP Basic (MT) performed
better than ASP Advanced.
ASP Advanced vs. GS Basic: ASP Advanced performs better. GS
Basic has least R, most MR, and very high NR
Best ASP Advanced mode: All keywords searched in the SU field
           GS Advanced Searches
 100%
             14%
                            28%            29%
  80%        9%


  60%                       21%            24%           NR
                                                         MR
  40%        77%
                                                         R
                            51%            48%
  20%

   0%
             ASP            GS              GS
            Basi c         Basi c           Adv
            (MT)

GS Advanced vs. GS Basic: GS Basic retrieves more R
GS Advanced vs. ASP Basic (MT): ASP Basic (MT) retrieves much
more R and fewer MR and NR
     ASP vs. GS (Advanced Searches)

   100%
             27%       23%                  29%
    80%                          35%
             0%        8%
    60%                          11%        24%
                                                         NR
    40%      73%                                         MR
                       69%
                                 53%        48%
    20%                                                  R

     0%
             ASP        ASP        ASP      GS
            Adv1       Adv2       Adv3      Adv
             (SU)    (SU+MT)    (SU+MT
                                +FT+RT)

ASP Advanced vs. GS Advanced: ASP outperforms GS, with
more R and fewer MR
CONCLUSIONS
What Searchers and Librarians Need to Know
(1)
   ASP outperforms GS in terms of:
     Higher Relevance (especially in metadata-only searches)
     More FT availability and easier access to FT
     More effective advanced searching

   GS outperforms ASP in terms of:
     “Newer” items (slight advantage when limiting by date)
     GS retrieves more items, plus more ASP items are indexed by GS than the
      other way around.
     Covers some types of materials not readily found in library databases
      (books, grey literature, materials in institutional repositories)

   Top 10 results:
      Similar searches in ASP and GS produce very different top 10 results.
What Searchers and Librarians Need to Know
(2)
   Recommendations:
     ASP is a good primary tool, GS is a good supplement.
     Searchers may want to use both systems to have the best of both worlds.
Recommendations for Libraries (1)

   Integrate GS into library services
       Library Web sites – include GS in subject guides, add a GS search box, etc.
        (York)
       “Library Links” program – add your link resolver to GS results so patrons can
        connect seemlessly to your online subscriptions.
       “Library Search” – participate in Open WorldCat so that GS book results will
        retrieve your catalog holdings.
       Include GS in your proxy server, for remote access.


   Information literacy
       Help users understand the research process and not “just the mechanics of
        searching databases” (Arendt).
       Promote GS as a good supplement to other resources, and help them
        understand when to use GS and when to use databases such as ASP.
Recommendations for Libraries (2)

   Partner with GS
       To “lend our insight and expertise to its development” (Donlan & Cooke)
       To “ensure that the Scholar engine is crawling institutional repositories and
        Open Access directories.” (York)

   Lobby publishers
       To “include subscription content in Google Scholar’s index.” (York)

   Make authentication easier
       Bring Shibboleth “to bear to break down the cumbersome walls of IP
        authentication…so that users can anonymously carry their access
        credentials with them.” (York)

   Adopt an open attitude
       Expand “ways for users to take the library with them” when they go to GS,
        rather than maintaining a “defensive” and negative posture toward GS.
        (York)
QUESTIONS?
 References
Arendt, J. (2008). Imperfect tools: Google Scholar vs. traditional commercial
library databases. Against the Grain, 20(2), 26-28. Retrieved from
http://search.ebscohost.com

Donlan, R. & Cooke, R. (2005). Running with the Devil: Accessing library-licensed
full text holdings through Google Scholar. Internet Reference Services Quarterly,
10(3/4), 149-57.

Google Scholar. Support for libraries. Retrieved January 27, 2010 from
http://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/libraries.html

York, M. C. (2005). Calling the scholars home: Google Scholar as a tool for
rediscovering the academic library. Internet Reference Services Quarterly,
10(3/4), 117-33.
Thank you!

				
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