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Google helps researchers with new tools

Google has lately added new research functionality to both Google Docs and Google Scholar.  YAY Google!

In Google Docs, you there's a new Research Tool.  It will appear as a right sidebar, in which you can search - without leaving Google Docs - for web resources, publications (via Scholar), images, videos, etc.

What's really, really cool is that you can then select a search result and, at a click of your mouse, embed the citation into the Google Doc either within the text or as a footnote.  And you can choose whether the citation will be in APA, MLA, or Chicago format!

It's not powerful enough (yet) for professional researchers, but it's a godsend for high-school students writing essays, for journalists, and for some university work.  It would be nice if it could produce a conventional "References" section at the end of the document - like most scientists and engineers like it - and it would be even better if it talked to zotero, mendeley, and other citation management tools.

But even in its relatively simple form, it's still a fantastic step forward for Google Docs.

In Google Scholar, you can now build a "My Citations" profile page, that will hunt down all your publications, show you how often they've been cited, and calculate various factors that are supposed to indicate how your publications rank compared to the rest of your research community.  (Mine is publicly viewable here.)  And you can get citations to export from Google Scholar directly to bibtex and a bunch of other citation management systems (but not to zotero or mendelay - sniff, sniff).

It's wonderful to see Google provide better support for researchers.

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