Saturday, April 14, 2007

Google Book Search Can Help with Research

You’ve heard of Google Book Search. You’ve seen books show up on your searches. Have you checked out all the information that Book Search provides? Have you used it by itself?

For some books, Google Book Search lets you search the entire book. For others, you can read portions of the book. Current estimates are that Google has scanned one million books into their database… some popular titles, some out-of-print books, and some in public domain. Book Search can help you and your students find books to help with research and projects. Using Book Search is a fast way to examine a large number of books.

You can use Book Search by itself… and your search results will show only books. Or you can search on… and if there are books relevant to your search, up to three of those books will be listed along with the other results of your search.

When a search yields a book, you can…
• browse some pages in the book,
• do more searching in that book,
• view reviews of the book,
• find where to buy the book,
• find a library from which you can check out the book, and
• for some titles, read the entire book.

What information is provided for each book? You’ll find…
• title,
• author,
• publication date,
• length,
• subject,
• links to bookstores where you can buy the book, and
• links to libraries where you can borrow the book.

For some books you will find…
• key terms,
• key phrases,
• references from scholarly publications or other books,
• chapter titles,
• a list of related books, and
• the publisher’s web site.

You can download, save, and print a PDF version of books that are in the public domain. There are limited previews (a few pages) of books whose authors have “partnered” with Google.

Google has shared the reactions of some Book Search users…
"I LOVE Google Book Search! I have purchased an extra dozen books this year I would otherwise not have. Being able to look inside and search for key terms helps me decide which books I need to buy. In the past, I found books online but was usually not willing to gamble the cover price for the chance it would have what I need..." – High School Teacher

"I recently used Google Book Search to research a paper on the civil rights movement and found so many great books that I never would have found otherwise. Google Book Search sped up my research 10 times. Thanks for the help…”
– Student

"While trying to write a comparative paper on a novel, I remembered a passage of text I wanted to reference, but had no clue where it was in the book. I was able to find the novel with great ease on Google Book Search and then search for the passage I was looking for. The page I needed was restricted, however enough of the context appeared to guide me to the right spot in my own copy of the book… I'm… saving time by not having to read large swaths of the book again." - Student
Read more about Google’s Book Search in Wikipedia at

No comments: