Monday, February 20, 2006

Research Tools

One of the big advantages of being a teacher is that you can learn from your students. In my Oral Rhetoric class last week, students gave presentations, and I learned something from each of them. Two tools I learned about, I must pass on to you. Anyone who is doing academic research, or showing others how to do academic research, needs to know about the following;
GoshMe is different from any search tool I've seen before. You put in your search topic, check off the areas that you want to look in, and then it gives you a list of Search Engines with the links each of them has found. I gave it a whirl, and found very different responses from when I simply used Google. I think it is a very powerful search tool. To find out more about this Brazilian initiative, check out GoshMe's AboutUs page, especially the section on the Invisible Web.

The other tool Rizwan Choudary, Vibhuti Gupta, and Mehreen Hasan alerted me to in their presentation on research using the web was an aspect of Google Scholar I wasn't aware of.
Not only can you use Google Scholar to search for academic papers and other research material, you can use it to search the databases of institutions you are associated with IF said institutions have made that arrangement with Google Scholar - see Support for Libraries. In Google Scholar Preferences, you can search for your institution, and, if it has agreed, you can set it as part of your preferences. A proviso and a positive:
1. You have to be able to access these databases already using your I.D.
2. It's actually an easier and one-stop interface.
So, thanks to Rizwan, Vibhuti, and Mehreen, I can pass this information on to you.


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