It used to be for medical illustration that the best way to look for references was using Medline or PubMed and before that the hard copy of Index Medicus. Taking over from these in everyday use is a tool which has been in development since 2004 ‘Google Scholar’.
 Google Scholar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Scholar
Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.
In many ways Scholar is a one stop shop for references, anyone who has previously had to trawl through multiple databases, with occasional journal duplication, for research will be glad to have an alternative that pulls together all the publishers journals into one search engine. If you have used google.co.uk for searching the web then you will already be familiar with the simple search page and the advanced search for homing in on your subject. Recently Scholar has added tick boxes to include or exclude searching patents and legal opinions and journals.
Task 1 – Accessing e-journals through Scholar and your library and refining your search.
Step 1 - Try and search for your library on the Scholar preferences page.
Step 2 – Try accessing some of the e-journals via an online search.
Task 2 – Researching a current practice using Scholar and e-journals
Step 1 - Looking at an aspect of your regular professional practice.
Select an area of your practice. Reflect on what are you doing and how are you doing it?
Step 2 – Searching and reading
Using Google Scholar and e-journals have a look at the papers written about your selected area of practice over the last 2-3 years e.g. since 2007 or 8, can choose longer or shorter 2-3 years is just a suggestion. Once you have read, and made notes on, the papers look at your practice in the light of the latest publications. Is your practice up-to-date or do you need to revise it? Perhaps your practice is producing better results than the recent publications so start to think about writing up about your practice for this journal.
Step 3 – Collating your learning
Don’t forget any reflective writing, notes, changes you make, presentations or papers you give or publish as a result of the tasks can all go to support your portfolio and personal development so make sure you keep them along with your other CPD materials.
- Examined the use of google scholar and e-journals in your research and professional practice.