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Google Scholar Toolkit

Google can be a great tool in your research arsenal. The power of Google gets unlocked when you go beyond its initial search screen and use some of its filters and tools to help focus your research.


Things to Consider

  • Access it through the library. If you access Google Scholar through the library, your search results will indicate if the article is available in the library. If you just go straight to Google Scholar without going through the library, it won't! 
  • Provides a "cited by" feature. There is a "cited by" link with each reference. Clicking on this link leads you to all the articles that cited the original reference, indicating how significant the article is in the field - how often it has been deemed worthy of note by other researchers.
  • Provides a "related articles" feature. A "related articles" link below each reference retrieves a listing of articles that are similar in topic to the original article.
  • Finds patents and legal documents. You can select the option to include patents and legal documents.
  • Not always scholarly. The criteria Google uses for selecting scholarly materials is not clear. It is essential to review each source for authority and credibility.
  • No peer-reviewed filter. Without this filter, it can often be challenging to locate peer-reviewed materials when needed.
  • Not always free. Some of the articles may link to commercial websites asking for payment. DO NOT PAY FOR ARTICLES. Use our Request a Document service for assistance in locating an article at no cost. Please note that this service is typically for those doing more advanced research on topics that aren't necessarily tied to a specific assignment, such as dissertation research, faculty scholarship, or a literature review.

Library Hacks

  • Google Scholar supports targeting your research to specific metadata fields, such as author or title. Check out the Searching page in the Help section to review the fields you can search by.
  • Use the Advanced search if you need help formatting your search terms or narrowing your search by date or publication. If you're on a desktop or laptop, you can find Advanced search by clicking the hamburger menu in the left-hand corner of the page.
Learn why Google Scholar might be a better option for your research than Google.

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Hidden Gem

While Google Scholar on its own is pretty great, Google Scholar combined with Lean Library is even better! Lean Library is a tool that works within your browser and helps connect you to library content when you're not using the library's resources. It also displays a pop-out on Google Scholar to help you quickly navigate to the library's How Do I guides for reference and our Ask Us form if you get stuck and need help.

Related Toolkits