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Google Scholar

A guide for using Google Scholar.

Accessing Full Text Through Library Linking

To get the most out of Google Scholar, users need to be logged in to a Google account connected to a library. Connecting an account to a library is simple and enables on-campus and off-campus access to all the online material owned by that library. For connecting to a library to work properly, a user must be a current, active member of that library; for FSU Libraries, active members are current faculty, staff, and students with a valid FSUID. 

This page provides step-by-step instructions for connecting a library to a Google account and using that connection to access full text resources. Google Scholar Support has more in-depth information about library linking.

Linking Libraries to an Account

1. Once logged into the Google account to be linked, open the left menu on the Google Scholar homepage by clicking the hamburger menu icon (three horizontal lines). Choose Settings at the bottom of the list (outlined in yellow in photo below).


A screenshot of Settings section in the left panel menu on the homepage

2. On the Settings page, choose Library links from the choices on the left to show the Show library access links for search box (pictured below).

A screenshot of the Library Link section in Settings

3. Use the Show library access links for search box to find all desired libraries. Both academic and public libraries are available, and an account can be linked to multiple libraries, so add both an affiliated academic institution and a public library system if desired. To add FSU as a linked library, search for "Florida State University" in the list of linked libraries; in the list, FSU will appear with "Find it @ FSU" after it.

4. Use the checkboxes to select all libraries to be connected to the account, then click save.

A screenshot of the Library Link section in Settings

Using Library Links in Google Scholar Searches

Google Scholar uses Google's search interface. Simply type keywords into the search bar.


A screenshot of the Google Scholar Search Bar

Depending on the search query, there may be a large number of results. The filters on the left of the webpage provides ways to limit results. Filters should be adjusted to meet specific research needs.


A screenshot of the Google Scholar Search Results Filters

On the right side of the page, the "Find it @ FSU" links indicate the resources that FSU may provide access to. Click either the resource title or the "Find it @ FSU" link to go to the full text of that resource. For example, clicking the title or "Find it @ FSU" link outlined in yellow in the screenshot below...

A screenshot of an article with full text in the search results

...goes to the full text of that resource on the site hosting the content, as shown below. Since the Google account used in Google Scholar is linked to FSU, the host site recognizes the user is from FSU.

a screenshot of full text of an article from Nature publishing

If there are any problems, see the Troubleshooting page of this guide.

Other Full Text Options

Some full text options are open access or freely available, and thus accessible without a library connection. For those citations where Google Scholar has found a copy of that exact item not behind a paywall, a link will appear to the right of the citation, just like with full text access provided by a library, but the link text will be the file type of the resource in brackets followed by the domain of the resource location.

A screenshot of the full text link for an article


The links beneath the citations may provide ways to get access to the full text of other versions of the resource being cited. The "All versions" link, which almost always features a number between the two words, goes to a list of resources indexed by Google Scholar which Google's algorithms have determined to be alternate versions of the cited resource.

a screenshot of the "All n versions" link

These alternate versions can include institutional repository and preprint server copies of the resource, which will generally be available to the general public without charge.

Clicking on the double left-pointing arrows at the end of the line of links below some citations will show even more links. For e-book citations, one of these links might be "Library Search," which will search for the cited resource in WorldCat. While WorldCat is no substitute for OneSearch and the catalog for searching FSU's print titles and determining what is available through UBorrow, WorldCat results show other libraries that may have a print copy of the title.

A screenshot of the "more" arrow

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