How Scholarly Is Google Scholar? A Comparison to Library Databases

Jared L. Howland, Thomas C. Wright, Rebecca A. Boughan, Brian C. Roberts


Google Scholar was released as a beta product in November of 2004. Since then, Google Scholar has been scrutinized and questioned by many in academia and the library field. Our objectives in undertaking this study were to determine how scholarly Google Scholar is in comparison with traditional library resources and to determine if the scholarliness of materials found in Google Scholar varies across disciplines. We found that Google Scholar is, on average, 17.6 percent more scholarly than materials found only in library databases and that there is no statistically significant difference between the scholarliness of materials found in Google Scholar across disciplines.

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