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Volume 23 Issue 10 (October 2013)

GSA Today

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Article, pp. 44–45 | Full Text | PDF (84KB)

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Literature searches with Google Scholar: Knowing what you are and are not getting

Jerome V. DeGraff1*, Nicholas DeGraff2, H. Charles Romesburg3

1 USDA Forest Service, 1600 Tollhouse Road, Clovis, California 93611, USA
2 Digital Marketing Consultant, 834 Price Court, Sacramento, California 95815, USA
3 Utah State University, Dept. of Environment & Society, Logan, Utah 84322, USA


Whether you are a student developing a senior thesis or a geoscientist preparing a research proposal, finding relevant concepts, data, and information produced by other geoscientists is a crucial step to eventual success. The quote, “If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants,” attributed to Sir Isaac Newton, acknowledges this fact. Our expanding knowledge base, increasing professional specialization, and greater involvement in interdisciplinary studies make it less and less likely we will know all the useful information important to any study we may consider undertaking. For this reason, we turn to scholarly literature to remedy any important deficiencies. For both students and researchers, this has increasingly meant employing Google Scholar.

Manuscript received 10 Mar. 2013; accepted 8 July 2013

doi: 10.1130/GSAT175GW.1