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Google Scholar: Google Scholar

Using Google Scholar

Google Scholar [] is different from Google. Google searches public web content - if your instructor says not to use Google, they probably mean they don't want you to use content from the public web. Google Scholar, however, searches journal and conference papers, theses and dissertations, academic books, pre-prints, abstracts, technical reports and other scholarly literature.

Is Google Scholar right for my research?

Google Scholar is useful for:

  • locating more information on partial citations. For example, Google Scholar can often find an article with just the title, and will provide the full citation and access to full text options once you have set up Google Scholar.
  • discovering keywords that define your topic.
  • helping a beginning researcher identify journal titles and authors connected with subjects of interest.
  • finding "gray literature" like conference proceedings. It includes many articles that wouldn't get included in other indexing services.
  • highlighting highly cited works on the topic.

Google Scholar cannot:

  • search with the accuracy of Library databases.
  • sort/search by disciplinary field.
  • browse by title.

Searching in Google Scholar is imprecise when compared with discipline-specific databases. If your research requires very comprehensive searching, or if you are not satisfied with Google Scholar's results, use individual research databases.

Research Databases

Using Google Scholar

Google Scholar: 

On-Campus? Google Scholar will automatically display links for access to the full text of search results.

Off Campus? Set Scholar Settings (From , click on the Menu icon in the upper left corner and select "Settings") to configure Google Scholar to access Georgia State resources.

image of google homepage highlighting the icon in the left corner

google menu with settings highlighted

If you do not see the word Settings, look for the cog icon. 

Select Library Links from the Scholar Settings menu. ‚Äč

library links button on google scholar

  • Below the "Show library access links" 
    • enter Georgia State University in search box
    • check the box next to check the box next to Georgia State University Find it @ GSU
    • check the box next to  "Open WorldCat - Library Search"

Click SAVE to keep your changes.  save settings

There may be several options for getting to the full text. Find it @ GSU  will either provide access to the full text of the article or provide a link to request a copy through Interlibrary Services (free for you). Don't pay if prompted. Check with the GSU library first.

If you don't find the full text and don't see the Find It @ GSU option, click on the double arrows ">>" under the citation to display Find It @ GSU

no full text using google scholar

The Cited by link under the Google Scholar citation is another way to expand your search and find more relevant articles.  When you click on the Cited by link, you will find other publications that cite the article. 

google scholar cited by

You can also search within the publications that cite the article. Select the checkbox that says "Search within citing articles" and add additional terms to narrow your search. 

image of search results with check box to search within results



To refine your search results, use the limit options to the left of your search results. 

google scholar refine search

To use Google Scholar Advanced Search options, click on the menu icon in the top left corner of the Goggle Scholar homepage. 

google scholar menu

Click on "Advanced Search".

google left menu items

Advanced Search lets you search in the author, title, and publication fields, as well as limit your search results by date.

google scholar advanced window


Related articles: find articles on the same topic as the citation

All  # versions: find other versions of the article found on the internet 

Cite:  click on the Quotation Mark icon to open the Cite Window. Copy and Paste the formatted citation or use one of the links to import the citation into a bibliography manager.

Google Scholar Cite function
Google Scholar Cite Examples


This guide was adapted from the University of Connecticut Library's "Finding Information: Using Google Scholar" Guide licensed under CCBYNC 4.0.