Well this is likely to be all over the library web today, but Google Scholar has just launched and will have a big impact on our distance students. I predict they will find it easier to use this less comprehensive tool and will for the most part start trickling away from our quality full text databases. Our distance students are particularly at risk because we can't keep an eye on what they're using to search and it's harder to get the word out about what we have. Major education is needed to let them know what they're missing if the jump fully on the Google Scholar bandwagon.
Wow!!! It's Google Scholar Web Search--Google
Big News: "Google Scholar" is Born
By Shirl Kennedy and Gary Price
The world of online "scholarly" research is changing today as Google introduces Google Scholar. This specialized new interface -- which will NOT be linked from Google's main search page -- will allow users to search a treasure chest of "scholarly material."
As Google makes this announcement and word spreads about a "scholarly search tool" -- ESPECIALLY in the academic community -- we think the use of specialty databases (the ones university libraries offer and spend $$$ for) will drop. It's worth watching to see if people begin paying for material located via Google Scholar that they can get *free* from a specialty database they may not know is available via their public or academic library.