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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/45069

Title: Google Scholar and the gray literature: A reply to Bonato’s review
Authors: Orduña-Malea, Enrique
Martín-Martín, Alberto
Delgado López-Cózar, Emilio
Issue Date: 11-Feb-2017
Abstract: Recently, a review concluded that Google Scholar (GS) is not a suitable source of information “for identifying recent conference papers or other gray literature publications”. The goal of this letter is to demonstrate that GS can be an effective tool to search and find gray literature, as long as appropriate search strategies are used. To do this, we took as examples the same two case studies used by the original review, describing first how GS processes original’s search strategies, then proposing alternative search strategies, and finally generalizing each case study to compose a general search procedure aimed at finding gray literature in Google Scholar for two wide selected case studies: a) all contributions belonging to a congress (the ASCO Annual Meeting); and b) indexed guidelines as well as gray literature within medical institutions (National Institutes of Health) and governmental agencies (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services). The results confirm that original search strategies were undertrained offering misleading results and erroneous conclusions. Google Scholar lacks many of the advanced search features available in other bibliographic databases (such as Pubmed), however, it is one thing to have a friendly search experience, and quite another to find gray literature. We finally conclude that Google Scholar is a powerful tool for searching gray literature, as long as the users are familiar with all the possibilities it offers as a search engine. Poorly formulated searches will undoubtedly return misleading results.
Publisher: EC3: Evaluación de la Ciencia y de la Comunicación Científica
Description: Version 1.0, Published on 11 February 2017, Granada
This work has been rejected in the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA), both the full version (24th December, 2016) and a letter to editor version (31st January, 2017).
Series/Report no.: EC3 Working Papers;23
Keywords: Google Scholar
Gray literature
Conference proceedings
Academic search engines
Bibliographic search
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/45069
Rights : Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
Citation: Orduña-Malea, E.; Martín-Martín, A.; Delgado López-Cózar, E. Google Scholar and the gray literature: A reply to Bonato’s review. Granada: EC3, 2017. (EC3 Working Papers; 23). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/45069]
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