The exponential growth of information has aptly been described variously as ‘information overload’, ‘floods of information’ and my favourite, ‘information explosion’. Commenting on the experience of searching for research information in google, one of our library users captured it perfectly when she likened it to drowning in the sea and still being left thirsty. If you cannot visualise this, try doing a simple search and see how many hits you get. And yet you may spend an hour going through them and still not get much. And eventually when you get something of relevance, establishing the authoritativeness and authenticity of the information becomes a tall order. Your search experience may be helped by using the following Google Search interfaces.
Directory of Open Access Repositories- http://www.opendoar.org/
An Institutional Repository is an online locus for collecting, preserving and disseminating the intellectual output of an institution. This is a recommended interface when trying to identify a researchable area especially for your thesis since it contains research content from academic institutions and research organisations. On the home page of the site, click on search repository contents and then key in your search words. Be as specific as possible with your search terms to avoid being ‘drowned’. To know what theses have been done in a given area, add the word thesis to your search terms. You can refine your search further by adding the words Phd or Msc thesis to your search terms. For your information, the JKUAT repository is also registered in the DOAR!
Google scholar- http://scholar.google.com/
Google scholar is a Google search interface created with the aim of retrieving scholarly content from the web. Google scholar indexes scholarly content from publishers such as Emerald, JSTOR, Wiley, Oxford University Press, Elservier and Sage. Although Google scholar may not give you full text access to the journal content, it will link you to the specific database where the article is available. The advantage of this is that it saves you having to go through all the many databases we have to get to the article you are looking for. However, full text access of scholarly articles that are in open access (freely available on the internet) is possible.
Google books- http://books.google.co.ke/
This is an interface that helps search and identify books that google has scanned and made available in digital form. Some of the books are full text while others only give a preview. Once you get to the results page, you can filter the results to show only full text books by clicking on tools. This will give you search options. Click on the arrow next to Any View↓ to list the view options then click on full view. This reorganises the result page to display only titles that have full text access. If you find a book that you want to be referring to, explore the option of Add to my library facility provided when you open any of the selected book. This allows you to build your own virtual library. However, you need a google account to do this. Combined with our collection of Springer ebooks and ebrary that are available through the JKUAT Library website at http://jkuat.ac.ke/departments/library/ you are definitely spoilt for choice!
I hope this will make your google search experience more pleasant.
NB: You can request for access information to the resources from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org You have to use your JKUAT email as this identifies you as a bonafide member of JKUAT because the passwords should only be accessed by members of JKUAT. Email email@example.com for your email for members of staff. Students need only activate theirs at http://www.jkuat.ac.ke/studentemail/