Is Google Scholar use declining?

I'm a regular reader of TechCrunch, a popular blog about internet products and companies. But somehow I missed the article just before christmas that talks about the popularity of different Google products. In this analysis, traffic for Google Scholar was down 32% compared to 2006.

I haven't seen this information reproduced somewhere else, but the number for most of the other Google products were higher than 2006, as expected. And I don't have the numbers of searches in Google Scholar compared to PubMed (you would have to buy this information from companies like comScore). But does this indicate that there is something wrong with Google Scholar? As a PubMed user for 15 years, I still like to get search results chronologically and not by (perceived) relevance. And I like the detailed search options and integration with other databases.

Other search engines in this field include Scirus from Elsevier and Windows Live Academic Search from Microsoft. Incidentally, TechCrunch (and others) reports this week that Microsoft is about to acquire Fast Search & Transfer, the Norvegian company that provides the search technology to Scirus.

Some big company names, but for me Pubmed is still the first stop when searching for journal articles. And PubMed will become more important as the NIH now requires the deposition of all NIH-funded research papers in PubMed Central.

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One Response to Is Google Scholar use declining?

  1. Graham Steel says:

    Interesting posting Martin.
    Whilst I have used Google Scholar, this has been infrequently.
    I concur that PubMed is still the ‘first stop’ when searching for articles.
    As you rightly say, in light of the Mandates that are popping up all over the place, “(European Research Council OA Guidelines document online 10th Jan)”:
    PubMed Central and UKPMC will become much fuller in content.
    Wellcome Trust plan to do a detailed audit of compliance (Paper deposition at UKPMC) fairly soon.
    I can only guess that as is already happening, it’s going to become much easier to access research at full article level and it will certainly require more than man alone to perform data mining etc.