A little group test, based on the single keyword Galerius. Chosen simply because a search for his name recently turned up in JURN’s usage statistics. This group test looked for relevant free full-text journal articles or book chapters in English, within the first three pages of results, and found:—
JURN’s number of relevant results would have been higher if I had included four results from the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Several were also omitted because they only seemed to have the briefest mention of Galerius. In total, JURN provided 329 results for keyword Galerius — although not all in English. If only 50 or so of those were highly relevant (and a slightly more targeted search for Galerius Romuliana gives 37 that are very relevant to his main palace), rather than just incidental mentions of the name, then that would be quite a good haul for a newbie searcher just trying to use a single keyword. A couple of the best articles in English were pushed down to the last page of results, in amongst the non-English material, as they were on the French server Persee — presumably the Google algorithm thus classed them as “non-English” despite the use of English in the article (it’s apparently not currently possible to turn off the location detector). So there’s an interesting tip for JURN users — always skip to the furtherest search result page and check what’s there. It won’t be the sort of junk and spam you’d see in a normal set of Google Search results.
The main Google Search test (see above graph and table) involved actually downloading the PDFs to see if they really were articles or chapters, or just timelines/course documents/student essays. Both of the OAIster full-text results were in repositories. The single Archive.org result was a numismatic (coins) publication. All the HathiTrust results were from before 1910. Google Book Search results included several from pre-1910, including three for Gibbon’s Decline and Fall.
Those lucky few with access to Project Muse would have found 29 records in the results for this keyword, and JSTOR subscribers would have had a bumper crop of 55 quality full-text English results in the first three pages.