Google Scholar

If you are looking for something a bit more in-depth in your web searches, especially for research papers, try Google Scholar. To give you an idea of the difference in the search compared to ordinary Google, the first search item from a typical Google search for boom latinoamericano produces a Wikipedia article, while the same search on Google Scholar produces a bibliographical entry for an article by Jaime Augusto Shelley, published in the scholarly journal La palabra y el hombre en 1972. I know, I know, I haven’t heard of it either. But once you get the hang of it, you notice that the actual article is available via PDF link from the same page. In the old days, you would have had to purchase a plane ticket to Mexico City. Upon arrival, the 8th or 9th taxi driver you talked to would know where to find the Hemeroteca Nacional. And after a quick three or four hour spin around the city, you’d find the place — it would probably be closed. Upon your return each day for the next three days, you would finally be admitted to the place during the hour it is open that week — and then they would ask you to come back the following week to give them time to find the work in their collection. A week later, you’d have your article — from which you’d have to take notes in the 30 minutes allotted to you to read the article in the Hemeroteca. Then you could go home with your page-and-a-half of notes to add another paragraph to your research paper. Whew!

Well, now you can just go to Google Scholar and — after you have learned to read college-level Spanish — you’re all set.

I am only exaggerating a little. Maybe.

One thought on “Google Scholar

  1. You’re not exaggerating much. Our world has been revolutionized by the likes of Google Scholar, not to mention Worldcat and its new sibling ArchiveGrid that “connects you with primary source material held in archives, special collections, and manuscript collections around the world. You will find historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and more. ArchiveGrid also helps researchers contact archives to request information, arrange a visit, and order copies.” The world is your oyster, Chris!

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