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Google Scholar: Why Use Google Scholar?

What is Google Scholar? Using Google Scholar, how can you locate scholarly articles, link to articles through Copley Library, and find out how many times articles were cited?

Benefits of Google Scholar

Familiar (Google-like) interface and free to search. 

Full-text access to results is often available through Copley Library resources.

The tool has a scholarly intent and includes peer-reviewed journals as well as citations and references to expand your research.

Many of the searching tips are similar to other academic databases.

Results are ranked by a Google Scholar combined ranking algorithm which values relevance over commercial interests and dates as the default ranking system.

Google Scholar indexes scholarly literature in a wide variety of subject areas, which allows for breadth of coverage in search results.

Disadvantages of Google Scholar

Some results to your search will link to pay-per-view options.

While the subject coverage is broad, it tends to favor science and technology fields.

The results are scholarly in nature but are representative, not comprehensive, of all relevant research on a topic.

If the search is limited by date, the results only include resources that include a date as part of their publication information.  The results tend to be less comprehensive when limiting by date.

Are There Alternatives to Google Scholar?

Try our library catalog!  You can do an article search with our new CatalogPlus box.

When you use one of our  library databases to search, you'll generally get a list of citations as search results. These citations refer to articles appearing in journals.

Sometimes the article will have a link to full-text from the database. If it is not clearly available as full text,  you'll need to note the information about the article (author, title, journal title, volume, date, page numbers).

Then, check our Journals Search or our Catalog to see whether we have the journal title either in our stacks or through a different online source.

If we do not subscribe to the journal title in which your article appears, you can use our Interlibrary Loan Service to request a copy of the article.

If you need help with your searching, Ask a Librarian!