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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

UNAVAILABLE: THE SCHOLARLY WORK SEARCH AND RETRIEVAL IMPASSE

Abstract

Thanks to the Web and online repositories, their role in the proliferation and dissemination of scholarly works has made it convenient for the researcher to find that much needed item, in whatever format or medium. With luck (in the case of Open Access publications) or with the proper credentials (either an authorized subscription or institutional account to access restricted content), the researcher practically has the means to find anything and everything necessary to support his or her scholarly work. But can every piece of scholarly work really be found, let alone accessed, in the online environment? Not always. Even if the researcher knows for certain that a work truly exists, it is not uncommon for a search for it to be a fruitless one. In this kind of scenario, even the most skillful librarian, when called upon, can get stumped by a seemingly easy search and retrieval operation that turns into puzzling task. When this happens, just to get one’s hands on these hard-to-find-and-retrieve works, such as “gray (or grey) literature”—material with limited to no distribution—require a good deal of workaround and patience. Certain factors influence whether a search or retrieval succeeds. In addition, there is no one best way to find and access that elusive work.

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