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Online Publication Database Review: Google Knol

written by: Kristina Dems•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 10/6/2011
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Google Knol is an online database for any kind of publications contributed by users with a Google account. This is a Google Knol review that looks at the good side and the downside of the services and features offered.

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    What is Google Knol?

    Google Knol is an online database of knols, which is the term used to refer to the articles, journals, and e-books submitted in this website. It is said to be the brainchild of Udi Manber of Google, Inc. It was made available to the public on July 23, 2008. Its main objective feature is to provide its readers valuable information on a wide range of topics. Since its beta launch, Google Knol has been compared to other encyclopedia sites such as Wikipedia and Citizendium. However, certain differences have been pointed out in some Google Knol reviews.

    Google Knol 

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    The Content Contributors

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    The articles in Knol are submitted by contributors who write about anything and everything whether they are expert writers or not. There are unacceptable topics described in the content policy which include pornography, discriminatory, and violent content. What users may find useful are articles on health, medicine, products, and services which they can eventually rate or comment on, provided that they have a Google account.

    The article contributors of Knol are identified. The author’s name appears on the by-line which gives him the sense of authorship. Add to that the fact that the writer assumes full control over his material. Whether or not he allows other people to edit his work is entirely up to him. More importantly, the contributor also gets to keep all patents, trademarks, and copyrights that are associated with his article.

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    The Good Things

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    Google Knol provides unlimited creativity for the writer because of its open-ended policy. This means that the writer is not confined to a specific area only. Posting recipes, opinionated movie reviews, essays, short stories, poems, song lyrics, and just about any other topic in mind are welcome. One is also given the freedom to write about previously published topics. But if you are planning to contribute some articles, keep in mind to stay away from hard-core pornography, hate speech, and the like.

    The best thing about Knol is that it's so easy to use. If you have previously written articles on your hard drive in MS Word or in PDF format, you can just easily upload and publish your file. Contributors can embed a lot of audiovisual materials such as slideshows, photo gallery from Picasa, videos, images, spreadsheets, and forms. Added to its features are several social network tools such as twitter, Facebook, mixx, digg, reddit, StumbleUpon and RSS feeds for easy content sharing.

    Add to that, the writer may also earn money through the advertisements that are posted on the page. So the more page impressions and page views, the more money the author is paid.

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    The Downside

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    Knol has been criticized for being the source of incomplete and inaccurate articles. Some Google Knol reviews says that searching for relevant articles is tedious because of the number of repetitive articles that are published at Knol. It has a high rate of fraud, plagiarism, scams, typological and grammar errors because articles are published instantly without further review from editors. There is no word count specification, and some published articles don’t have any content.

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    For Writers

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    If you are fond of writing and you want to share your work, then this is a good place for you. Your work can be published instantly without any restrictions to how long your article would be. You can use your own style and creativity. It can be viewed by many Google users and you can earn from it through page views.

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    For Students and Researchers

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    If you are a researcher or a student looking for the answers to your assignments and queries, then it is always smart to supplement your research with other information from other highly informative and editorially managed websites.