Via Brad DeLong: for many of us for whom Google happens to be one of those things we can’t live without, all of its innovations (betas) are anticipated and watched closely. Now there’s Google Scholar (beta), which is what it sounds like.
“Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.”
Of course, you need to have access to Ingenta, JSTOR, etc., in order to actually get many of the articles, but still a useful tool.