Introducing the new tool for the academic literature search: Google?
According to an article published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine more (most) medical literature searches are being performed with the use of engines other than Medline. The most common of which, as you can see in the figure above is Google.
Among those searches which provide link referrals to Medical Journals, Google ranked number one, with Yahoo taking the number four ranking. Among other things, convenience seems to be the major factor.
The number of searches performed with PubMed has increased steadily to about 70 million per month. Yet at the same time, an increasing number of people are finding their way to citations and abstracts in PubMed through searches that begin with Google the largest single source of referrals to PubMed or with Google Scholar or Yahoo.My thoughts of possible causes: Whereas Pubmed requires the user to understand how to enter a search term to optimize search results, Google requires no such understanding. In addition, Google Scholar, a new search engine specifically designed to search the academic literature further simplifies these requirements and optimizes search relevant results. But the article specifically points out that most referrals do not come from the Scholar search but instead from the general google search engine.
The article does cite a different reason:
Many articles are available through Web sites maintained by journals, although there may be charges or registration requirements. Some are also available without charge through nonjournal Web sites — sometimes with the permission of the publisher, sometimes without.Kind of like what I'm doing here.
It’s an interesting trend though, wouldn't you say?