Google Scholar: Online Library or Plagiarist's Dream

Google Scholar - in beta since 2004 - epitomizes the problems of the internet. It provides easy access to advanced research that can be used by students - but whether it is used for citations or to plagiarize is the deeper problem.

The site uses an academic approach to ranking. "Google Scholar aims to sort articles the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each article, the author, the publication in which the article appears, and how often the piece has been cited in other scholarly literature. The most relevant results will always appear on the first page."

What plagiarists must know is that professors know how to use it as well to check if they are cheating. There are even sites like turnitin.com where teachers can submit papers and have them checked for originality.

Without a doubt Google Scholar helps improve access to academic research for students, and students are becoming well aware that teachers are tech savvy as well. If used properly it is a great example of the benefits the web provides.

Google Scholar has even released a toolbar plug in for Firefox browsers.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.