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WAPL 2007: Google Scholar & Google Books

Posted by on Thursday, May 03, 2007 in WLA Blog Archive

Google Scholar & Google Books: Bringing a World of Information to Your Community
a presentation by Pamela O’Donnell, Academic Librarian at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Google Image:
  • you can search by image size and image type as well as by keyword
Google Video / YouTube
  • it's what our patrons are watching
  • it's how they're accessing information
Google News
  • it's constantly updated
  • an RSS feed is available
Google Maps
  • mashups take existing data and show it in a new context
  • using Google Maps with literature - look at the places mentioned in the book Kite Runner; a way to make a book more relevant to students
  • search for the pyramids in Egypt & view the satellite view to see the Sphynx's nose
  • use the technology to engage with your audience / patrons
On Google, the link to More shows you choices based on your IP address; for example, when on the UW Madison campus it offers patents, scholar
Click on the "More Google" to see the full range of services offered by Google

Google Documents
  • used for committee work
  • committee members can edit documents jointly
Search operators:
  • minus sign: to eliminate searches that don't deal with your topic, like "virus - computer - web"
  • plus sign: to make sure the term will show up in the results, like "spider +internet"
  • tilde: looks for synonyms, like "~auto to find car, truck, vehicle, automobile
  • asterisk: wild card, like "Wisconsin is the * capitol of the world"
  • use "link:" to find what other web pages are linking to another, like "link:"
  • use "info:"to see the metadata about a web site; useful to check out info about a web site to see if there's bias or an agenda
  • quotation marks: to search for phrases
  • use Domain Search to eliminate .coms from your search
  • more advanced search operators are available at
Google Patents
  • full text search from scanned documents
  • you can search within a patent
  • abstract, drawings and text are all available
  • OCR scanning can be flaky, so re-try your search if it doesn't bring anything up the first time
  • once you have the patent number, go to to get a PDF of the patent
  • U.S. patents only
Google Book Search
  • starting with English language, and now branching out
  • search full view books
  • many of the books are in the public domain
  • great for student history projects
  • some table of contents hyperlinked to pages within the document
  • you can search within the book for a term
  • you can also find the physical copy of the book in a library, using their link to Open WorldCat
Range of access in Google Books:
  • full view
  • limited view - limited preview is about 80% of the items in Google Book; mostly for books published after 1923 because of copyright laws
  • snippet view - your search phrase in context
  • no preview - just gives citation information
Google Scholar
UPDATE: Pamela's PowerPoint slides & handouts (in both MS Word & PDF) are now available at the WAPL Post-Conference Resources page.
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