Google Scholar and researchers who need it now, now, now!
After this mini-conversation
with Steven (see the comments). I was again reminded about one of the neat things about the publishers' native interfaces and the big-money databases. I don't know how they do it, but Compendex seems to index IEEE articles like two weeks before they're published online. This might change now that IEEE is putting pre-pubs
. I have alerts coming from Compendex, Inspec, and a few other databases and it's pretty frustrating when you know about the article but then have to wait to read it. The big databases can do this because they get direct loads from the publishers and have big groups of human indexers standing by. The data is pushed from the publisher. IOP offers feeds of new articles available online so this is extremely quick -- potentially weeks prior to publication in a journal. Science
pre-pubs are anywhere from 6-10 weeks ahead of print publication.
On the other hand, Google is crawling databases made available by the publishers. Is this done at regular intervals? On Google's schedule instead of the publishers'? Will Google pick up articles as soon as they are online? How will you know?
This may not be important for an undergraduate, but for a researcher in the field, you better be able to say that you have the newest information!