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Amazon, Google Book Search, and Google Scholar by ProQuest

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The author reviews several online data bases. Amazon.com was, and remains, one of the best Web-born databases. From its inception, it showed what a brilliant mind can do with minimal money but with a vision. Amazon's excellent software is a perfect match for its huge collection of about 12 million book records (and an increasing number of about 1 million full-text articles). The Google Book Search (GBS) provides links to Web pages (found by the regular Google), which include formal reviews, and to publicity blurbs, which sometimes are redundant. The link function is a great advantage of GBS, even with its limitations; it uses a special option not available for mere mortals to trigger good, unambiguous searches. Google Scholar is the best, most convenient, and fastest free tool to find relevant information on any topic from many scholarly sources. But is has shoddy software implementation, the mostly absurd hit counts, and often much inflated citation counts.

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