If you thought students were already in love with Google for their research needs, just wait. Google has announced plans to work with academic publishers to offer Google Scholar, a new search service that will offer access to all kinds of scholarly materials—or at least to their metadata—including documents currently held behind subscription pay walls and not previously indexed by Google search spiders.
According to Google, the service (http://scholar.google.com) will allow users to search for "scholarly literature including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research." The service appears similar to Google Print, which allows users to see a limited number of pages of books from publishers enrolled in the program. Google Scholar, however, is focused on locating pure academic and research material—from books to dissertations and technical papers—offering search citations to academic works both online and offline.
The service does take advantage of OCLC's Open Worldcat, which puts library catalogues in front of Google spiders. It also uses the linking service Crossref, which earlier this year pioneered a Google search project with 29 academic publishers.
According to Google, users executing a Google Scholar search can see citations for a specific article, but can get access to the full text only through their university library, individual subscriptions or any other relationship dictated by the publisher for gaining access, including pay-per-view. While there is advertising potential in the new service, Google claims, at least initially, that it will not earn money off of any new subscriptions or fees generated between searchers and publishers.