I just found the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service, offering a national search for Australian online academic content.

Although Trove appears to be effectively an amalgamated repository search when searching for full-text articles (outside of newspapers), it allows users to limit a search only to records of journal articles promising free full-text. That’s good to see, and something for other repository-searching services to copy.

A search for the word “and” within such limits found 54,000 records. However, it suffers from the same problem as Google Scholar in mixing too many books in among the articles. Near the top of the first page of these results was the book The City Reader (LeGates & Stout) which is clearly not a journal article — yet is tagged as such, presumably because it’s a collection of chapters written by different authors. The “full-text” flag on this item’s record was also erroneous, since the “Available online” link led to a paywall, and the only other source was a Google Books preview. The first page of results also appeared to contain numerous other commercial books, yet these were also tagged with the “articles” flag. Clearly these books are not a “Journal or magazine article” within the meaning of the sidebar’s refining selection option…

Trove needs to add an “Article: published in a book” filter. Without that, it’s difficult to know how many actual peer-reviewed full-text journal articles are really included in the Trove database.

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