Google Scholar seems to have gotten a lot more scholarly since the last time I tried it. In fact, it is now kind of awesome and might be my sole portal to papers from now on.

Why? Because if you happen to have an account or faculty appointment or maybe your job gives you a password you can load that account into Google Scholar Preferences. (Look for "Library Links".) Then, when you get your list of papers you can go immediately to a full pdf of the paper because there is a link to the right of each. Their example is "Harvard" and I happen to own an account there. Hopefully it works as well for other accounts.

The other cool trick (of many) is that once you get a nice search of specific words in title, text string in document etc and you like the results you just click the "email alert" then whenever a new paper meets the criteria you get an email.

I have used similar tools through the university and other venues but this is by far the simplest most all encompassing search tool out there since it glues all my favorites into one.

Now if you are going to comment that Google Scholar has had these capabilities for years go ahead and post. I won't feel bad. ;-) (And there are still some glitches in the Library Links. Sometimes even if there are three links to pdfs they all end in a subscription entry window for the journal which the library should have filled out automatically.)
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