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Google Scholar: An Essential Research Tool: Results from Academic Databases

Search Results

The first step is to determine if some of the academic databases which might contain relevant material actually do have any information on the Gruinard Island experiments.  Use the following search strategy


                                    Gruinard     and     (anthrax or anthracis)    


This strategy will be interpreted by academic databases as follows –

                        Find all records containing the word      Gruinard.

                              Find all records containing the words    anthrax   or   anthracis    or   both   words.

                               NOTE:  (…..brackets…..) are used when plotting out your strategy to group

                                            together the two words describing the concept   anthrax.


Retain only records containing   Gruinard   and also either anthrax or anthracis

or both those words.


In Historical Abstracts, using the “advanced” search method, the search would look as follows –



Giving only one record as a result –



The second concept in the assignment could be searched similarly, using the following search strategy. Again, when plotting out your strategy, use brackets to group terms describing the same concepts. Truncation symbols are used with  German* and also Japan*“world war” must be put in  “…..quotes…..” to indicate the two words must be side-by-side as a phrase

                        (anthrax or anthracis)  and  (german* or japan*) and “world war”



That search in Historical Abstracts yields 4 results such as these.  Note that both of these articles may also contain information about why the British performed the experiments on Guinard Island. The first article includes references to 22 others which the author used as sources of information. Many of those may also be useful for your project group’s report



Performing that first general search about  Gruinard Island + anthrax on other academic indexing databases would provide the following results –

                        Academic Search Complete  -  4 records

                        America History and Life – 1 record 

                        BIOSIS  -  4 records , all on the reclamation effort in mid 1980s

                        Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management  -  8 records, all dealing with reclamation



            Might using Google Scholar produce more comprehensive results?




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Robert Thomas
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University of Regina.
3737 Wascana Parkway
Regina, SK S4S 0A2