Google has formally launched a new search service aimed at scientists and academic researchers.
Google Scholar is a free beta service that allows users to search for scholarly literature such as peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports.
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The new service accesses information from resources such as academic publishers, universities, professional societies and preprint repositories, Google said.
Because the service automatically analyses and extracts citations and presents them as separate results, users can find references to older works that may only exist offline in books or other publications.
A query for "Albert Einstein" and "relativity", for example, pulls up 2,920 references along the left-hand side of the page, clearly identified as articles from the web, or pointing to offline material such as citations or books, which when clicked on are presented much in the same manner as a library card catalogue.
There are currently no online advertisements accompanying the search results.
Topics covered include medicine, physics, economics and computer science. Documents in the Google Scholar search index are written in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.
Google Scholar is at http://scholar.google.com.
Laura Rohde writes for IDG News Service