tenpastmidnight blog

Making hay while the sun shines

Google Scholar (beta)

Google have released an new niche-search service, Google Scholar letting people search academic documents, papers, periodicals, journals and similar published work.

When I was at university we had Psychlit, which would search lots of psychology papers, which was very handy. If Google Scholar has a wide enough database of journals and other sources it will be very interesting to see what searches come up with - journals and sources you wouldn't normally have thought of checking.

My test search was for MDMA Parkinsons, basically looking for research in to whether Ecstacy use is linked to the onset of Parkinsons disease, which I keep my eye on generally since making some dire predictions about it (or links to early onset to a type of Alzheimer's) years ago to some friends. Showing Google's normal speed, I get a range of results from international sites and journals, most of which I'd never have heard of.

As there's really very little dependable information on the web, compared to the huge amount of rubbish around, a search like this is very helpful, and very necessary, if you're trying to get information you can depend on. For academic searches, most of that information is buried in journals somewhere, and you need to search a lot of different sites to get access to all of them. Having a single place to search will be an excellent tool for researchers everywhere.
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