Google Scholar

I guess that most people are aware of Google. It is so well known that it is almost a verb now; if not so already – a bit like hoover.
Most people will also be aware of other Google tools such as maps and blogs (indeed this is a blog that I set up through Google).

However, there are some tools which you may not be aware of. One that is particularly useful to the scientific community is Google Scholar. This is available via the Google home page, using their menu system, and can also be accessed via http://scholar.google.co.uk.

Google Scholar searches in the same way as the normal Google search engine, but it only searches through the scientific literature. There is actually no replacement for going to the original source of the material (e.g. scientific journals) but this is not always possible. For example, you may not know which journals to look for and you may not be able to access them (you usually have to pay; fortunately, as I work in a university, I am able to access many of the journals that I need).
But using Google Scholar, even if you intend to go to the original source later, can still be a useful starting point for your search, just to see what material is out there.

So if you want to see what scientists have to say about your favourite subject, try searching through Google Schoolar, instead of using the usual Google interface. You might actually find that we have something interesting to say!

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