Google Scholar brought a great revolution to the discovery of scientific articles. This tool indexes publications and academic materials (free and subscribed) from innumerous sources, making it easy the access to specialized literature. I am sure that most of you already know this platform and use it when you need to find academic references about specific topics. If you don’t know it yet, I strongly recommend giving it a try.
In this post I want to explain briefly how Google Scholar works and share some tips that can help improve the visibility of your knowledge in the internet. Also, by improving your profile in Google Scholar, you will have a better idea of the impact of your publications in the web.
Before we start I recommend getting familiar with “SEO – Search Engine Optimization”, a concept that can help you understand how Google and other search engines index sites and documents available in the internet. A good work on understanding optimization will allow you to better position your documents in the web, making them easier to find. Google offers instructions to create websites with a structure that helps push them into search engines.
However there is something that is not mentioned a lot in SEO instructions. If you have ever done a more specific search in Google, for example Open Knowledge Evaluation, it is possible that you will have noticed the difference in the results shown at the top of the list, like it is shown in the following image:
These top results are coming from Google Scholar and they show the most cited documents in the platform for that specific topic. This is a very valuable “real estate” in Google and we need to know how to take advantage of it.
How to work with Google Scholar
Google also offers a set of instructions to publish your documents. Besides these instructions, here are five recommendations that you can follow to successfully disseminate your documents in Google Scholar:
Ensure that your document has citations and bibliographic references in a correct format. Google will try to link your document with others that already are indexed in the platform and the more relationships it finds, more visible your document will be.
Give your websites and documents simple and easy names. The Google index robot is very smart, but it is always recommended to build web links that make sense to humans.
Describe your documents using metatags listed in Google instructions. The details from your description will help the Google Scholar robot on indexing your content as you provide more accurate information about it.
Create your personal author profile in Google Scholar. With this profile you can follow the number of times your document was cited by other authors. There is also an option to configure the system to send you an e-mail message every time your publications are mentioned other author’s work.
Finally, register your most frequently used library in the Google Scholar settings. This will help you to access documents that have restricted access once your institutional library / academic may already have a subscription that provides access to such content.
At IDB we are following these steps to facilitate the access to our Publications by researchers all around the world. Our objective is to explore all available channels so that can allow people to use and re-use the knowledge created by our specialists. You can do the same with your own documents and websites, making them more open to everybody by following the SEO and Google Scholar instructions. It is the time to open your knowledge up to the success in the internet.
Do you know other tools that can help us to give more visibility to publications in the internet?
As the leader of the Library Systems team for the Felipe Herrera Library, Rodrigo works on planning and developing solutions that facilitate the access and dissemination of IDB Publications through the use of the industry’s best practices and standards. Rodrigo also leads the development of the IDB’s Numbers for Development Open Data Portal and works to engage IDB specialists on opening and promoting IDB’s data through the development of insightful visualizations. Rodrigo previously worked as a System Librarian for Ex Libris in both the Brazil and United Kingdom offices. He is from Brazil, and has a bachelor’s degree in Librarianship from the Universidade de São Paulo.