Toolbox: Google Scholar Opens Science to Everybody — Almost

November 18, 2009

One of the biggest challenges facing environmental reporters is finding, understanding, and communicating science. A new tool makes that a little easier.

Getting science information is actually a key information-access problem for reporters. Although the information isn't secret, it can be expensive and hard to find. The indexes are fragmented by specialty and often available only to subscribers. Now Google Scholar has improved the situation with a powerful search engine open to everybody. It includes most major disciplines. It also includes legal articles — another resource that environmental reporters can often benefit from. Here's the search form.

While the full text of scientific and legal journals are often available only to paid subscribers, Google Scholar usually leads to you a full citation and abstract. To go beyond this, you may need to visit a research library at a local university.