by Barbara Quint
May 16, 2005
The Google Scholar project (http://scholar.google.com), which launched in November 2004 (http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb041122-1.shtml), has responded to the complaints of many academic and research librarians by expanding its usefulness for campus-based users. Its new institutional access feature links Google Scholar users to electronic versions—and even print versions—of journals accessible through library collections. Any library using OpenURLs and meeting Google Scholar’s conditions can join the program. Authorization of “appropriate copy” to individual library patrons, “on-campus or off,” remains the library’s electronic responsibility. Unlike many commercial information services, Google offers the institutional link resolving at its usual attractive rate—free. Within days of the announcement, a reported 150 libraries had joined.
Approximately 30 libraries and several major library software vendors offering link resolvers (e.g., SFX from Ex Libris, Article Linker from Serials Solutions, and 1Cate from Openly Informatics) have worked since the beginning of this year on a pilot project to develop and test this important new feature. Though its scholarly focus clearly targets academic and research libraries, any and all libraries can participate. “We’d like to see them all,” welcomed Anurag Achaya, Google Scholar’s project manager. Some public libraries have joined already. Although U.S. libraries dominate, participants stretch from Iceland to Japan, Beirut to Tel-Aviv.