Musings on G.S.
Two items that have me thinking about Google Scholar:
"Our problem doesn't lie so much with Google and Google Scholar so much as it does with our students' information literacy levels. Do they have a sense of their subject matter? Do they have an understanding of the different places in which they can research? Do they know how to brainstorm, how to tie loose ends together into an argument, and how and where to find evidence to support it? If we decide to focus only on the students' poor use of Google Scholar, then we're treating the symptom as opposed to its cause, which are information seeking skills and research methods that haven't been fully developed. We shouldn't blame the student if the only search strategy she's ever known is to type a few key words into a Google search bar and then troll through results, because the difference between research and good research is instruction, practice, and experience."
I like this idea of "information seeking skills and research methods that haven't been fully developed". This seems to be a much better way of thinking of students skills levels instead of has them or doesn't have them. We can only hope students continue to develop these skills throughout University and beyond...
2.) Search engines and the production of academic knowledge
José van Dijck
November 2010; 13 (6)
"This article argues that search engines in general, and Google Scholar in particular, have become significant co-producers of academic knowledge. Knowledge is not simply conveyed to users, but is co-produced by search engines' ranking systems and profiling systems, none of which are open to the rules of transparency, relevance and privacy in a manner known from library scholarship in the public domain. Inexperienced users tend to trust proprietary engines as neutral mediators of knowledge and a
re commonly ignorant of how meta-data enable engine operators to interpret collective profiles of groups of searchers. Theorizing search engines as nodal points in networks of distributed power, based on the notions of Manuel Castells, this article urges for an enriched form of information literacy to include a basic understanding of the economic, political and socio-cultural dimensions of search engines. Without a basic understanding of network architecture, the dynamics of network connections and their intersections, it is hard to grasp the social, legal, cultural and economic implications of search engines."
Wow! I certainly thought about it quite like this before. I haven't really taught how search engines works in a few years...maybe time to dust off those skills...