Academic Question? Ask Google

Google has unveiled a search tool for the discovery of academic literature. Called Google Scholar, the new search platform lets searchers query academic publications of many stripes for peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, technical reports and other documents.

The market for scholarly searching is potentially a desirable one for advertisers. Students generally fall within the hard-to-reach 18- to 34-year-old demographic, and purveyors of academic services and products may be willing to pay to market directly to a large population of student researchers and college faculty.

The Beta-release of the service doesn’t appear to display ads. Google couldn’t immediately be reached to confirm this, or to speculate on whether it will consider keyword bidding on the platform.

Paid search aside, the Scholar platform will likely prove a valuable promotional tool for libraries and publishers seeking a wider audience. For most searches, the service turns up only abstracts. Searchers will therefore likely use the online interface to discover documents of interest, which must later be obtained in their entirety through a publisher or library.

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