Digital Libraries meet Google Scholar: Investigating the changing face of scholarly search using the Google Scholar front-end
Sammy Iqbal - University College London - [-]
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  • Tesi completa: 79 pagine
  • Abstract
    The problems with digital libraries and Google Scholar are separately well grounded in literature. However current efforts have largely unexamined digital library use under the Google Scholar front-end. This is important because the popularity of Google as a search engine and Google Scholar amongst academics for seeking scholarly material is considerably high. Our study therefore seeks to examine digital library searches conducted via Google Scholar through think aloud tasks and interviews.

    The study finds that participants are far more inclined towards using Google Scholar due it its simple interface, coverage, efficiency, ranking and relevancy. The relative weakness of these factors within digital libraries meant that participants resisted in continuing to dig deeper within digital libraries. Participants did, however, highlight that digital libraries are well integrated when it comes to chaining i.e. following up references, citings, links to other articles etc and felt that such integration helps them to navigate around sources a lot easier. The biggest problem impacting users' ability to search effectively were access issues in both Google Scholar and digital libraries. This was due to a lack of clarity surrounding the access restrictions in digital libraries and dysfunctional links within the results of Google Scholar hampering users' ability to effectively seek material.

    The insights gained from the above findings led to suggestions of a hybrid design. This entailed utilising the good bits from both digital libraries and Google Scholar and bridging them together to enhance users search support. Our findings indicated a hybrid design that should come with the performance, ease of handling and coverage like Google Scholar and chaining of sources as within digital libraries. The findings also led to insights where they separately needed to be improved, through provision of feedback on user action, re-designing of dead-links to be more accessible, support for better recognition of locations with unrestricted access, improving subject classification of results and making advanced searching facility more prominent within Google Scholar and provision of cues to makes access restrictions clearer and less complex within digital libraries.
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