Even librarians use Google Scholar! Improve your searching by learning tricks of the trade using advanced features of Google Scholar. Learn the benefits and limitations of what Google Scholar can do for you.
Not finding what you want? Try some of these tricks:
Once you have started searching in Google Scholar, there are limiters on the left side of your search results. These limiters are there to help narrow your search results to a manageable number (between 30-80 sources). Limiters include such options as Article Type and Time Period. In addition to narrowing your search, you can sort the results by time, relevance (this is deemed by Google), and you can choose to include/exclude Patents and Citations.
Google Scholar casts a wide net when searching which often means you will need to make your search more specific. Using the "advanced search" feature is the easiest way to narrow your results. You can go to the advanced search page by clicking on the arrow on the right end of the Google Scholar search box.
Looking at a single result, we have a few options to find the item. The options highlighted below allow you to do the following:
Before searching Google Scholar, it's a good idea to set your preferences to connect to the NSU Library and any other libraries you have access to. Doing so will allow you to discover articles through the Library's subscription databases. You can change your settings by clicking the "hamburger" menu in the upper left, choosing Settings, and then Library Links. You can search for libraries and add them there.
Google Scholar searches specifically for scholarly materials such as journal articles, research reports, dissertations and theses, preprints, technical reports, patents, manuscripts in preparation, working papers and many other document types.
When you do a search in Google Scholar, you get a list of citations. You'll get links to the full text in the following cases:
We don't really know how Google Scholar indexes items, but this is how Google Scholar defines the weighting system:
"Google Scholar aims to rank documents the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each document, where it was published, who it was written by, as well as how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature." The most relevant results will always appear on the first page (see the "About Google Scholar link below).
Remember, Google's goal is to make the world of information accessible and useful. It is still up to researchers to critically evaluate research materials.
*Note that such articles are often the manuscript version or a pre-publication proof. You always need to check direct quotes and page numbers in the published article.
**Note that there may be problems with articles posted to sites like these. Follow the link below to learn more.
If you don't see a way to access the full text of an article you find on Google Scholar, or if it links you to the publisher's website where you are asked to pay for full text, there is another alternative!
You can obtain many articles through our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service, which is a way for us to provide access to materials not held in our collections. ILL services are available to all students, faculty, and staff of the NSU community at no charge.
Google does not search the deep web (aka Deepnet, invisible web or hidden web). These terms refer to World Wide Web content that is not part of the surface Web indexed by search engines. It is estimated that the deep Web is several orders of magnitude larger than the surface Web (see the below link "About the Deep Web"). This means that Google Scholar cannot find everything that might be of use to you.
When using Google Scholar, it is helpful to keep these questions in mind:
As a research tool, Google Scholar is good for many tasks, and not as good for others. When deciding whether to use Google Scholar or one of the Library's subscription databases, please keep the following in mind:
Google Scholar is good for...
Google Scholar cannot...
Keep in Mind:
Our thanks to the Research and Information Services department at the University of Illinois Library for permission to re-use some of the assets from their Google Scholar LibGuide (link below).
Google describes Google Scholar in this way: "Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research." Learn more at the official About Google Scholar page (see the link below).