The beta version of Google Scholar, launched last Thursday (November 18), has been warmly welcomed in the scientific world. But questions remain about some aspects of the academic search engine.

The tool is targeted squarely at scientists and academic researchers wanting to find scholarly literature across broad areas of research. It searches a subset of the main Google index, open repositories, and the Web sites of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, and universities.

Duane Webster, head of the Association of Research Libraries, said the arrival of the new service was welcome but noted the need for an open dialog as it develops. "As their experiment moves forward, there will be a range of important questions that will need to be addressed," he told The Scientist. "We encourage the company to find ways to report on their experiences and to engage these questions."

For example, Webster pointed...

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