Search Google Scholar Effectively
How many times have you searched endlessly for scholarly resources and found your searches inadequate? Did you know that Google Scholar is a great tool and a useful enhancement to other searches in Proquest, Eric, and any of the other journal sites or databases? Google Scholar is a separate tool in Google and is meant to be a place to research peer-reviewed journal articles, court decisions, magazine articles, books, patents, editorials, and other similar written publications. Be aware that it will find books and articles that may or may not be peer reviewed.
In order to start your search in Google:
- Open the main search page and locate the upper left hand corner where it says more and click onthe down arrow to the right of it.
- Click on Scholar.
- Once you click on the link, Google Scholar is opened up.
Remember that it may be an additional resource to the other databases provided within the library research database for your school. Ask your school librarian if this resource is available to you. There are times when you will look up an article or book that takes you to an outside resource that requires a fee for access. Make sure you have accessed the information for Google Scholar through your library research database and if this continues to occur, speak to your Librarian as they may have a way to obtain the resource through your school library.
Search tips in Google
There are a variety of tips for searching the site that applies for any searches. These shortcuts work with many other search engines that are available in your university library and other search engines.
There are a number of little tricks that can be used to help create a better search. The table below gives a number of the best tips that are useful.
|Modifier||What it does||What to type||What you will get|
|“ ”||searches for an exact phrase||“assistive technology in education”||results that include exact phrase “assistive technology in education”|
|─||excludes search results with a particular word or phrase||bass -fishing||results about bass that are not related to fishing|
|~||searches for a word and all its synonyms||~mobile phone||results with the word “phone,” as well as, “cell,” “cellular,” etc.|
|OR||searches for webpages that include either word||vacation London OR Paris||results with the word “vacation” and either “London” or “Paris”|
|…||searches for a range of numbers||Willie Mays 1950…1960||results about Willie Mays during this time period|
|define:||define a word or phrase||define: plethora||links to definitions of the word “plethora”|
|site:||searches only particular websites||global warming site:edu||references to global warming found on .edu websites|
|link:||searches for webpages that link to a particular website||link:www.usf.edu||websites that link to the University of South Florida website|
|1+1||basic calculator functions||4+7, 30% of 55, 20^2, sqrt(4), etc.||the answer|
|cm in foot||converts unit of measure||cm in foot, 28C in F, $ in pound, days in fortnight, miles in league, mph in speed of light, etc.||the converted answer|
For more search tips to use in Google Scholar, follow this link: http://www.google.com/librariancenter/librarian_tools.html
There are many posters that librarians or teachers can post in the classroom or library to remind students of the various methods of searching the database and finding the specific information for a research project or paper. One is linked below.
Google Scholar Email Alerts
Email alerts are a tool that can be used to continue receiving information as it becomes available. Once you are inside a search, click on the envelope icon on the green bar that says create email alert and a new window opens where you can place any email or your Gmail address. Once this is done, any new papers, articles, or other items that fit into the search parameters is published, the information will be sent to the specified email.