13.1.1 Google Scholar is free
An important practical reason for using Google Scholar is that it is freely available to anyone with an Internet connection. The ISI Web of Science and Scopus are only available to those academics whose institutions are able and willing to bear the (quite substantial) subscription costs. As Pauly & Stergiou (2005:34) indicate:
“free access to […] data provided by Google Scholar provides an avenue for more transparency in tenure reviews, funding and other science policy issues, as it allows citation counts, and analyses based thereon, to be performed and duplicated by anyone”.