An Educated Google

Posted: December 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

I always tell my kids they’re so lucky to have Google since it wasn’t around when I was their age.  Even when I started college well over a decade ago (we won’t say how much over, thank you), it wasn’t as popular and widely used as it is today.  I use it fairly regularly all the time now so I was surprised to find out about something I didn’t even know existed…Google Scholar.  The search engine for your studious needs.  My assignment was to perform a search in Google and Google Scholar for a subject from another class and analyze the results.  Pretty interesting, maybe not for you but I thought it was.

I chose to search “burnout” for an essay I am writing in my Social Service Case Management Class.  I already know what burnout is because I am experiencing it right now. HA HA HA.  For those of you who don’t know, burnout is a result of chronic stress and results in loss of interest and motivation and poor performance in certain aspects of your life. For the sake of my essay, we’re talking about job-related burnout. On to the search!!!

When I searched burnout in Google and it so kindly suggested “Burger King,” “burlington,” and “burning man.”  I said, “No thanks, I’ll type in burnout.”  Google graciously produced 43,500,000 results in .26 seconds. Wow. Maybe I should have suggested job-related burnout but I was keeping it simple.  The top results were all very relevant to what I was looking for.  The first result was the Wikipedia page for “Burnout (psychology)” and after looking it over, it’s pretty accurate.  Next was “Preventing Burnout” from Helpguide.org which mirrored some information I was given in a handout in class.  This site also collaborates with Harvard Health so I find it to be credible (yes, I checked the links).  Up next was “Job burnout” from Mayo Clinic, also a reliable source.  It did start to get interesting around here. I took a self-test on mindtools.com and scored 50 which puts me at severe risk of burnout and says I need to do something about it urgently.  Then “In the News” there is a report of “Black Friday burnout.” The Urban Dictionary definition of “burnout” is “A high school or college student who does little else than cut classes and smoke weed. Usually has long, straight hair and a proclivity toward heavy metal bands of the 70’s and 80’s. Can often be found in smoke-filled bathrooms and makeshift basement bars.”  Which is a pretty great little comic relief while doing research.  And in Google images I found this…

burnout

Google Scholar is definitely less entertaining but certainly more educated.  My search on “burnout” (minus strange suggestions) turned up 448,000 results in .13 seconds.  The first result was “Maslach burnout inventory,” which I thought might be more accurate than the self-test but sadly returned a “page not found” message.  Next was a book “Staff burnout: job stress in the human services,” (starting to second guess my new career choice) in the National Criminal Justice Reference Service website.  It had a “find in library” link which uses WorldCat “the world’s largest library network” to try and locate the book in your local library.  How freakin’ cool is that?! Then we have “Job burnout” in the Annual Review of Psychology.  You have to pay $32.00 to access the article but it is in a professional journal (I heard the Yavapai College library may have the hookup).  These results were older but were sorted by relevance, you can chose to sort by date.  When I chose to list items since 2013, 26,400 results appeared.

Both searches produced relevant results that would be helpful in researching and writing essays.  Google may help come up with a general definition and concept.  Google Scholar may be more suited towards writing higher level research papers.  I find the “Cite” option extremely exciting (nerd, here) and useful.  It gives citations in multiple formats, including APA which I will definitely be needing.  With Google I can find a fun self-quiz for entertainment value (and possible insight), Google Scholar may be able to give me a professional tool to evaluate clients in the future.  So there you have it.  There’s more than one way to Google, especially if you’re researching.  So go, get your Google on.

By the way, are you experiencing burnout?  Maybe you should take the self-test here… http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_08.htm

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