Have you heard the saying, “If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime?” The statement is widely accepted as a Chinese proverb and teaches in sublime fashion that it is better to teach someone how to do something so they can take care of themselves rather than just hand over the result to them on a one-off basis.
In the spirit of teaching others how to find information for themselves, I’d like to share a useful tool with you.
I am sometimes asked about researchers using our equipment for a specific application or for literature references/scientific publications that cite specific research using our equipment. Sometimes one or more of our customers immediately come to mind because I am familiar with their research but other times I need to conduct a search to find this information.
Before I head to the Malvern archives or the nearest university science library, I make my first stop at Google Scholar where I can quickly and easily perform a broad search for scholarly literature. I simply enter the product name and scientific application area and usually I am met with a list of directly relevant results milliseconds later. This useful tool is available from virtually any Internet connection and often yields valuable and surprising information. (I was recently pleasantly surprised to find that our Zetasizer, for instance, was cited in literature ~26,000 times which was 8 times more than the closest competitive instrument—but that is a story for another day). Another great resource is Free Full PDF where you can search over 80 million free scientific publications.
So the next time you are looking for specific, published research in scholarly journals and articles, consider making one of these online resources your first stop.