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.

Google Search

More  Scholar

In order to start your search in Google:

  1. 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.
  2. Click on Scholar.
  3. 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 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

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.

8.5″x11″ Poster

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.


Posted on November 9, 2010, in eLearning, tips, Tools and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Fabulous, what a blog it is! This weblog presents useful facts to us, keep it up.

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