Since Google pretty much dominates the search engine world, it seems to set the gold standard for web searching. A recent blog entry mentioned the article that compared the scholarliness of Google Scholar content vs. library database content. “How Scholarly Is Google Scholar? A Comparison to Library Databases” (College and Research Libraries, May 2009) concluded that Google Scholar offers a higher percentage of scholarly material than do library databases.
But a Master’s thesis by Hannah M. Noll at Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found a different sort of result. She tested Google Scholar against three library databases: Bibliography of the History of Art, Art Full Text/Art Index Retrospective and Arts & Humanities Citation Index. By using a set of 472 articles, she tested which of the databases retrieved the most number of articles.
I won’t give away the punch line. But you can find out for yourself how well the library databases fared in Noll’s thesis, Where Google Scholar Stands on Art: An Evaluation of Content Coverage in Online Databases.