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Google Scholar

This guide include brief information for searching Google Scholar.

Features of a Google Scholar Result

A result in the Google Scholar looks like a mix between a normal Google result and a result in a library database. 

Image of a Google Scholar result with parts labeled. All parts of the result in Scholar should have an Aria for a screen reader to understand.

At the top of your result is the title, which will link you to where Google found this result. Often this link will be to a publisher website, which may have have a paywall between you and the article. 

Underneath, you will see other publication information Google can identify, including author(s), the journal title, publication year, and publisher. 

Below that, you will often see a snippet of the abstract with your keywords in bold. 

Full Text Options

To the right of the result, there will be any free full text options. 

  • If there is a "get full text" link, it will take you to the article in Kent Library's collection.
  • Any other link will be to free full text Google has found on the web. The link will say what the website is and give the format (i.e. a PDF, an HTML website, etc.). These won't always be the final, peer-reviewed versions of the article.

Citation Indexing

A citation index is a tool that tracks what articles cite each other. It is a useful way to find more results, as articles that cite each other are often on similar topics. Below the abstract, there may be a link that says "Cited by" and a number. If you click that link, Google Scholar will show you all the articles it could find that cites this result in their bibliography. 

Citation Generator

The quotation mark icon below the abstract will generate a citation for your result in MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard, and Vancouver styles. This will be a citation for the version of the article you access through the title link. It may not be a complete citation for what you find if you clicked either of the free full text links. 

Save to My Articles

The star icon below the abstract will save that result to your Google Scholar account in an area called "My Library." You can access "My Library" from the Google Scholar homepage. 

Filtering Your Results

The filtering options, located to the left of the search results labeled Navigation.In the left column of your results page, you will have some option to filter your results to improve the relevance of what you find, similar to in a library database. 

Publication Date

You can control what year your results were published in. There will be some preset options for searching recent articles. If those are not helpful, you can select "Custom range..." to specify the exact date range you want to search within. 

Results Sorting

Below the publication date options are results sorting options. The default option is Google's relevance algorithm, which attempts to order results by how related they are to what you searched. You can also switch to sorting results from newest to oldest. 

What to Search

There may be checkboxes that let you choose whether to include patents or citations (when Google sees a citation in another result but cannot find the article itself) in your results.

Create Alert

The last option in the column is for creating a Google alert. This is not a filtering option. Instead, if you click this button, you can have Google email you when there are new results for your search. This is a useful feature for ongoing research projects.