Searching for evidence with Google Scholar.

By Dr. Eduardo Mayorga

One of the most important competencies residents must acquire during their training is the ability for searching and evaluating scientific literature.

The search tool we have always recommended, as the first source for searching, is Pubmed, that comprises more than 20 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. 

Being Google the most popular tool for searching, many residents did their searches with it. These searches brought back enormous amount of citations, many of them from dubious sources.

Google Scholar, even though launched in 2004, is not still well known and used for searching scientific articles.

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, and abstracts, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.

Google Scholar should not replace Pubmed for our searches but rather complement them. For those interested in learning more about Google Scholar and how it compares to Pubmed, please click on this link.

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