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I would like to download this paper:

O. Faure. Numerical pathwise approximation of stochastic differential equations. Applied stochastic models and data analysis, 1992.

... but when I use Google Scholar, the paper cannot be accessed. I cannot even access the paper from within my campus firewall.

See the following image:

enter image description here

Why is the title of this paper black in the list of Google Scholar results?

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The downvoter should explain the downvote. The question seems totally legit and to the point. –  Sverre Mar 5 at 20:53
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@Sverre: I downvoted the question because it's not really about academia, it's about the way a tool from Google works. –  Charles Morisset Mar 5 at 22:03
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From Olivier Faure's thesis: Faure O.[90], Numerical Pathwise Approximation of Stochastic Differential Equations, Preprint LAMM 90/7, 1990. A paraître dans Applied Stochastic Models and Data Analysis, 1992. pastel.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/52/32/58/PDF/… –  mkennedy Mar 5 at 22:27
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It's black because that's the default colour for text on the page. It's black because it isn't blue, and it isn't blue because it isn't a link, and it isn't a link because there's nothing to link to. –  ShreevatsaR Mar 6 at 9:57
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@CharlesMorisset It's about a tool that's designed for people in academia, and a tool that's used on a daily basis by people in academia. Hence, it's about academia. –  Sverre Mar 6 at 11:15

1 Answer 1

up vote 24 down vote accepted

The paper appears black because Google Scholar has not found the full-text of the paper during its crawls. Rather it has extracted the document as a citation from other documents it has seen.

Hence Google Scholar knows that the document exists (it has been cited) but does not know where to find it.

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2  
Just to mention that having looked around myself, the paper does seem difficult to find online. Typically if it's not in Google scholar, it means you're going to have a tough time to find the full-text online. The venue of the paper also seems to be informal: "Prépublication of LAMM" doesn't seem to yield much. @OP, you may want to email the author or to email someone who has cited the paper. (And just in case: be wary of citing a paper that's near-impossible for your readers to find.) –  badroit Mar 5 at 18:48
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I would strongly disagree with the "don't cite hard to find papers" part. If there is previous work strongly related to your paper, you are obligated to cite it regardless of whether the full text is downloadable via Google Scholar. –  Geoffrey Irving Mar 6 at 4:34
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Sure, but my wording was a bit more careful than that. (1) I didn't say don't do it, I said be wary. (2) I didn't say hard-to-find or papers not in Google Scholar, I said near-impossible to find. By be wary I meant be reluctant; ask the following questions: is the reference needed, could an alternative reference be used, could the context be explained in more detail in the current paper if the cited paper is difficult to get, can the URL of the paper be added to the reference, etc. –  badroit Mar 6 at 11:55
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If a reference is hard to find and an alternative exists, I agree that citing the alternative or including a summary of the necessary details is good. However, neither of those prevent you from citing the difficult reference as well. Disk space is cheap. –  Geoffrey Irving Mar 6 at 22:42

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