Article Search and Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a search engine specially created for searching scientific information. It finds research articles and their different versions. One set of search results may contain, for example, a preprint, a journal article, a conference paper and a research report. Google Scholar lists the results by relevance, but materials from academic publishers and most cited articles are shown first, meaning that materials from digital archives of universities (e.g., master's and doctoral theses) will be shown later in the results. Google Scholar also has an extensive legal database of US cases.

Google Scholar has faced criticism for also indexing predatory journals, so critical evaluation of sources is necessary, as it is with other resources we use for finding information. If used with consideration, Google Scholar is a good way to find full texts of needed articles. It finds articles in commercial databases and if the user has the access rights, it opens full texts of the articles. Thus, if you use the Open VPN connection, Google Scholar can open full texts from the databases purchased for the university. Setting up VPN on your computer.

Advanced search lets you search by keywords, authors and publications and limit the search by years.

Google Scholar advanced search
Fig. 1. Google Scholar advanced search.

Search results can be refined on the left.

Under search results there are links.

  • Save (star icon) - logged in users can save their searches to their "Google Scholar library" where they can organize them by tags, etc.
  • Cite (quotation marks icon) - let's you copy the citation in 5 different styles or export the record to BibTex, EndNote, RefMan or RefWorks reference management platforms
  • Cited by - opens articles that cite the given article
  • Related articles - open closely related articles
  • All versions - shows all different versions of the article 
  • More (two arrows icon) - more options like HTML text, etc.

Google Scholar results
Fig. 2. Google Scholar search results.

Usually, the title link takes you to the database that gives access to the article. If the article does not open, check on the catalogue of e-books and e-journals, whether the journal is open for UT through some other database. The author of the article could have also uploaded it into some digital archive or on some web page (see ch. Open Access - open access to scientific literature).


Google Scholar does not find

  • All articles. For getting better results, search also the other databases that Google Scholar showed you.

  • All databases. Only a part of all databases of scientific materials can be searched; for different reasons, Google Scholar cannot search all databases. 

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