Using academic search engines and examining impact of readings

Activity 3.1 Although I had previously used Google scholar, I had no idea of the ISI Web of Knowledge. Such searching seems quiet interesting as the search conducted will focus on ‘reliable’ sources such as journal entries, research papers etc.  Still the main problem that I am finding is that certain results will not be freely available. For example in activity 3.1 I tried to use these two tools to search for robotics usage in secondary classrooms, where I read the abstracts of various interesting resulting papers but then I was not able to access the full text, what a pity!! Comparing these academic search engine tools to the OU library’s search engine, I still am convinced that this search is more robust and quiet flexible for different types of searches.

Activity 3.2 has introduced me to citation searching. This seems quiet useful as I can set my searching in a systematic way rather then doing the usual sporadic Google and OU library search which was limited to specific key words. Moreover by researching citations, we examining what impact such studies have had, how influential these papers have been on other studies, intitutions etc.

As this is my first citation search I am not sure whether obtaining just 4 (ISI Web of Knowledge) and 10 (Google Scholar) results would mean that this reading did not have much impact. Moreover as this was published in 1989, is it possible that ‘old’ citations are not visible in results? Moreover in an article I stumbled on, I read how such search engines may be prone to spam which may manipulate citation counts (Beel and Gipp, 2010). Still, for the second reading by Wegerif and Merver (1997), over 900 results have been attributed by Google Scholar. The citations may not all be valid, but still it shows that this was much more influencial, where the writers themselves and others, tackle and expand the subject of computer-based text analysis.

In one citation this paper is referenced for this phrase;  ‘Sociologists have used technological innovations in the teaching of a variety of courses’ (Ridener, 1999). In my opinion, this reference does not show much impact as the paper is used just as an example. In another citation this paper , ‘studies have shown that successful distance learning occurs when the tasks and activities are appropriate to the technology; are consistent with the instructor’s philosophy and style of teaching; are convenient, accessible and relevant to the students; provide maximum interaction; and are well-organized and well-presented’. Citations do not seem to focus on results or conclusions  of this paper bu rather on secondary issues, thus misleading the reader from what the citated authors have actually focused on.

For paper 2, similar citations have been reviewed which focus on the general concepts and theories presented.  Differently from the first paper, for this study it is apparent how some researchers (e.g. Mercel et al. 2004) build on this work. In another paper I could connect to reading 2 as same authors give 3 categories of student talk which shed light on this paper (Wegerif et al. 1998).

Comparing the two tools; for the first reading, Google scholar has given all results found in ISI Web of Knowledge in addition to other results.

Search results

Reading 1 – Hiltz And Meinke (1989)

ISI Web of Knowledge – 4 results

0 times cited Jaffee,D. 1997 Asynchronous learning: Technology and pedagogical strategy in a distance learning course
20 times cited Marttunen,M. 1997 Teaching argumentation skills in an electronic mail environment
2 times cited Persell,C.H. 1992 Bringing Pcs into Introductory Sociology Courses – 1st Steps, Missteps, and Future-Prospects
17 times cited Ridener,L.R. 1999 The good, the bad, and the ugly in cyberspace – Ups and downs of the Dead Sociologists’ Society

Google Scholar – 17 results

  1. A comparison of using the Internet versus lectures to teach social work history TL Faux… – Research on social work practice, 2000 – Quote: ‘Using Internet-only instruction may not be the most effective way to teach students about social work.’
  2. Asynchronous learning: Technology and pedagogical strategy in a distance learning course D Jaffee – Teaching Sociology, 1997 – JSTOR
  3. [CITATION] Designing computer-mediated conferencing into instruction R Nalley – Computer mediated communications and the online …, 1995
  4. Bringing PCs into introductory sociology courses: First steps, missteps, and future prospects CH Persell – Teaching Sociology, 1992 – JSTOR
  5. [CITATION] Issues in predicting user acceptance of computer-mediated communication (CMC) in inter-university classroom discussion as an alternative to face-to-face … KL Hacker… – Communication Reports, 1997 – Routledge
  6. [CITATION] Teaching argumentation skills in an electronic mail environment M Marttunen… – Innovations in Education and Teaching …, 1997 – Routledge
  7. Distance learning: Beyond content D Barreau – Journal of Education for Library and Information …, 2000 – JSTOR
  8. Teaching computers and society in a virtual classroom SR Hiltz… – ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society, 1990 –
  9. [CITATION] A beginner’s guide to computer conferencing ER Misanchuk, D Morrison… – Annual Conference of the Association of …, 1997
  10. [HTML] The good, the bad, and the ugly in cyberspace: Ups and downs of the dead sociologists’ society from pfeiffer.eduLR Ridener – Social Science Computer Review, 1999 –
  11. [TXT] Group collaboration in the virtual classroom from washington.eduD Barreau, C Eslinger, K McGoff… – An Evaluation of … –
  12. [BOOK] Computer mediated communication: a selected bibliography [PDF] from aect.orgAJ Romiszowski – 1992 –
    Distance Education: The State of the Art. Prospects, 18(1), 43-54. Kaye, Anthony R. (1989).
  13. Bringing PCs into introductory sociology courses: First steps, missteps, and future prospects CH Persell – Teaching Sociology, 1992 – JSTOR
    Distance learning: Beyond content
  14. D Barreau – Journal of Education for Library and Information …, 2000 – JSTOR
  15. [BOOK] The virtual classroom: Learning without limits via computer networks SR Hiltz – 1994 –
  16. Fish proteins from unexploited and underdeveloped sources K Vareltzis – Developments in Food Science, 2000 – Elsevier
  17. [PDF] 191 of Canada Bibliothèque nationale du Canada from collectionscanada.gc.caKIA ON –

Reading 2 – Wegerif and Mercer (1997)

ISI Web of Knowledge – 0 results

Google Scholar – 938 results (too many to display)

Further reading

Google Scholar – a new data source for citation analysis;


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