Friday, June 20, 2014

Google can now provide step-by-step instructions

Starting this week, Google has started to highlight step-by-step instructions found in search results. There's no clear cut way to make sure this result type appears since it's dependent on the content of the linked-to results but here's a few examples:

Friday, June 13, 2014

8 surprising things I learnt about Google Scholar

Aaron Tay, Senior Librarian at National University of Singapore has been looking into Google Scholar from an academic librarian's perspective and has come up with some wonderful observations and suggestions:
Various surveys have shown usage of Google Scholar is rising among researchers, particularly beginning and intermediate level researchers.  Our own internal statistics such as link resolver statistics and views of Libguides on Google Scholar, tell a similar story. 
Of course, researchers including librarians have taken note of this and there is intense interest in details about Google Scholar.

I noticed for example in April....
Top 10 “Hot” Articles in Library and Information Science, April 2014 - 5 out of 10 about google scholar.
— Aaron Tay (@aarontay) April 13, 2014
More recently there was also the release of a Google Scholar Digest  that is well worth reading.

Sadly Google Scholar is something I've argued that libraries don't have any competitive advantage in, because we are not paying customers, so Google does not owe us any answers, so learning about it is mostly trial and error.

Recently, I've been fortunate to be able to encounter and study Google Scholar from different angles at work including

a) Work on discovery services - lead me to study the differences and similarities of Google Scholar and Summon (also on systematic reviews). Also helping test and setting up the link resolver for Google Scholar.

b) Work on bibliometrics team  - lead me to study the strengths and weakness of Google Scholar  and related services such as Google Citations and Google Scholar Metrics vs Web of Science/Scopus as a citation tool.

c) Most recently, I've was studying a little how entries in our Institutional repositories were indexed and displayed in Google Scholar.

I would like to set out 8 points/features on Google Scholar that surprised me when I learnt about them, I hope they are things you find surprising or interesting as well.
Read his full post @ Musings about librarianship.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Feeling Lucky? Explore flights in fun, new ways with Google

From the Google Travel Blog:
Just over a year ago, we launched an experimental feature called explore flights to give you a unique, price-focused way of exploring different destinations within a region. It's still available, but over the next few days we’ll be rolling out some of the most popular functionality right into Flight Search -- plus a few other surprises.

So, whether you know where you want to go or want to throw caution to the wind and visit some place completely new, we've got some fun, new ways to help you explore the world around you! See it in action.

Read the full post on the Google Travel Blog.