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Google Scholar

A guide for using Google Scholar.


Google Scholar Homepage

Google Scholar is a freely accessible bibliographic database that indexes a wide range of published materials. Users can search for a wide variety of digital and physical materials, such as journals, articles, books, and dissertations. Not only does Google Scholar offer resources from various vendors and publishers, it also allows users to search within a library's collection.


When to Use Google Scholar

Google Scholar's broad indexing and citation linking make it a useful tool for different scholarly tasks, including

  • Identifying serial publications and authors covering a particular topic
  • Finding "grey literature" (research not published by traditional means)
  • Locating citations and possibly full text for obscure resources not available in conventional databases
  • Finding complete citation information based on partial citations
  • Identifying related resources through citations
  • Locating the institutional repository copy of a green open access article

The list is inspired by "Google Scholar is good for..." from the University of Illinois LibGuide.

Create a Google Scholar Account

To make the most of Google Scholar, a Google account is needed. An FSU email is recommended, but the ability to access FSU materials is dependent upon connecting the Google account to FSU, a process described on the Accessing Full Text page, so a standard Gmail account will also work.

Google Scholar's Search Results

Just like Google, Google Scholar is a search engine providing content from third parties; the difference is that Google Scholar focuses on published scholarly material with a particular focus on materials available online. Google Scholar indexes thousands of scholarly resources from major academic publishers. Not all of the resources, however, are scholarly or peer reviewed; resources and citations should still be reviewed before use. The relevancy ranking used for Google Scholar incorporate how often a resource has been cited.

Features of Google Scholar
  • Search all scholarly literature from one convenient place
  • Explore related works, citations, authors, and publications
  • Locate the complete document through your library or on the web
  • Keep up with recent developments in any area of research
  • Check who's citing your publications, create a public author profile

This list was taken from About Google Scholar.

Accessing Full Text through Google Scholar

Google Scholar contains citations and abstracts for resources; gaining access to the complete resource often requires some form of payment. To access the full text, the Google Scholar account must be linked to a library (or libraries) such as FSU; instructions on how to link an account to a library are on the Accessing Full Text page. Users without accounts or with accounts not linked to a library will only be able to access the full text of open access and other free resources.

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