A couple of items for web researchers.
First, Dean Giustini, a medical librarian at University of British Columbia in Vancouver (one of the most beautiful places I've ever been) and editor of the UBC Google Scholar Blog has a good summary of recent articles about how Google Scholar is being used in the medical profession.
Second, Infotrieve, a well-known name in the library world, has just announced that public access to their ArticleFinder database is now free.
What is ArticleFinder?
It's a bibliographic database that also offers you the search, read abstracts and purchase individual journal articles as needed from a single source, this is what's often referred to as document delivery.
ArticleFinder has a lot of it. According to the web site, it's currently home to more than 26 million citations and eight million abstracts from over 54,000 journals, in science, technology and medicine (STM). More than 44,000 entries are added each week. This page has a breakdown of articles by discipline.
ArticleFinder offers two interfaces. One, a simple search box that can handle natural language and the other, an advanced interface that offers fielded searching (date, journal name, author, publisher, etc.). Another option allows you to narrow your search by discipline.
The ArticleFinder FAQ offers many more facts. One important note is that ArticleFinder does not search the full text of an article but rather the title and abstract. In terms of searching AF offers both wildcard search options as well as fuzzy searches. It's also possible to have your citations exported into one of three services and email results.
This service is more than worth a look.
1) The Infotrieve Virtual Library service (fee-based) allows a company or library to tie their e-journal holdings to he service. No word on if or when this feature will also become free. It would be great if did happen.
2) While much of the material in ArticleFinder is on the technical side of the aisle, don't forget that many public libraries offer great access (24x7x365) to thousands of full text article from journals and newspapers (licensed for personal use) for free without having to leave your home or office. More about that here.