15 abr. 2015

Making academic searchs even easier: the Google Scholar button for Chrome

Last week, Google surprised us with a new extension for its Chrome browser: the Google Scholar Button.



This button offers three main features:

  • Quick search on Google Scholar: while you're browsing any website, just select the terms you want to include in your search (for example, the title of a paper), and click the Google Scholar button. The first three results of the search will show up, and if Google finds a free version of the paper, or your institution has a subscription to that particular publication, you'll be able to access it. A variant of this feature is that, if you run a search on Google and want to see the results for the same query in Google Scholar, you just need to click the Google Scholar button while you are on Google's results page.
  • Quick access to Google Scholar's interface: If you're not satisfied with those three first results, clicking the bottom-left "expand" button will open Google Scholar in a new tab.
  • Formatted references and exporting capabilities: generating formatted references in various formats (MLA, APA, Chicago), as well as exporting citations (in BibTeX, EndNote, RefMan and RefWorks formats)- arguably the favorite features for most users- is also possible with this plugin.


To finish off, a warning to prospective users of this plugin. We found that, at first, the button didn't work in many of our computers. We got the error Unable to access the server. Open results in a new tab whenever we run a query. In the end, we found out that the button currently doesn't work if your Google Scholar settings are set to show 20 results per page. It only works when it is set to 10 results per page. Most likely, this issue will be solved in future versions.