I mostly use google scholar too as my subject is a bit obscure and so is usually in small independant journals, but when I'm just thinking about the general subject SCOPUS is good as you can easily link to similar subjects and click on the references one paper to go straight to the papers, although not all Uni's have subscription to this (mine didn't until very recently and I was lost without it), I really dislike web of science and tend not to use it!
I think Scopus is the best, gives you easy access to full articles. Unfortunately I do not have access to it anymore and therefore use my Athens account to find papers. Have you got that as well and if so what do you think of it? I am not sure whether Athens is the same for everyone or whether it it depends on your library / institution. I do not like Athens as it provides usually abstracts only.
I think Google Scholar is good for a quick look and gettting an overview.:-)
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Depends on your fields. If your library has access to Ovid, this can be used to search a number of databases simultaneously.
Def worth having a chat with a librarian though, especially as you're in an interdisciplinary field.
Edited to add - depends what your reason for searching is. Google Scholar may be perfectly adequate if you're just trying to learn stuff. If you're doing a proper systematic review though, one should always check more than one database, even if there is one which is perceived to have 'all the literature'.
I use Web of Science most of the time - I am in an interdisciplinary field as well (psychology, sociology and philosophy). If you're in the social sciences, Applied Social Sciences Indexes and Abstracts (ASSIA) is good, also International Bibliography for the Social Sciences (IBSS). to be honest I don't use google scholar that often, never really been able to get much from it even though others rave about it!
I tend to dislike data base searching. I know that librarians and some swear by this--but unless the database permits keyword or free text searching it can really limit what you can find. I love Google Scholar. When I use it on campus, it links directly into library resources and databases, without the pain of a useless data base search.
Google Scholar gives access to multiple versions of articles--often articles are carried in more than one data base, links to related articles, links to articles that cite the other article...etc.
Of course it is horses for courses, but for my own legal and interdisciplinary research, I rely 99 no make that 100 percent on Google Scholar to find what I need.
I know that sometimes Google Scholar gets a bad rap because its on Google, and somehow people seem to think that takes away from its credibility. All Google Scholar does--from my own understanding anyway--is link into multiple sources for articles and tell you what database they are on. A click on the Google Scholar link will take you to "the source" and if you are fortunate, your library has access.
Another feature of Google Scholar that I like is that it will take you to the occassional free standing PDF of an article. Sometimes this is the only way to gain access. A lot of academics link PDFs of their own publications on their university home or staff page, or elsewhere, and Google Scholar frequently turns these up--sometimes it might be the only way to get to an article, and no data base of course is going to list these free standing PDFs.
As said, its horses for courses, many people are able to do what they need within the use of certain databases.
I have yet to have a librarian acknowledge the utility of Google Scholar--and yet all it is is a gateway to data bases.... it saves hunting through multiple data bases if you are not sure where what you need might be located.
Dare I go so far as to commit the heresy of mentioning Wikipedia?! Of course as a primary source for academic work its a huge no no. Yet, many times it is a great way to locate those primary sources you want. A well footnoted Wikipedia article can often reveal sources that are themselves helpful to locate and read! :$
I use web of knowledge as it's the only one I can really make work. I like the fact you can do combined searches to narrow don't the topic and it then links to my intitutions library and to endnote. ([email protected] sure you can do this with other search engines but I;ve never worked out how to make them work!)
I may investigate google scholer a bit more after this thread - but I find google links me to pubmed and I can't seem to get the full pdf from there.
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