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Google Scholar

A guide for using Google Scholar.

Searching Google Scholar

Google Scholar crawls the web and indexes a wide variety of resources from scholarly sources ranging from large academic publishing companies to institutional repositories like Florida State's DigiNole. As a result, Google Scholar searches return citations for many different types of scholarly resources, including "grey literature" and resources that be difficult to find in standard academic databases.

The bottom row of each citation returned in the Google Scholar search results contains multiple links, two of which enable further searching.

A screenshot of an article's Cited by and Related articles link

  • The "Cited by" link goes to a list of all the works indexed in Google Scholar was able to determine had cited the resource. The number of citations can serve as a starting point for determining an article's influence.
  • The "Related articles" link goes to other resources Google Scholar has determined to contain related content. While this link can provide citations to sources on the same topic, all resources should be evaluated for relevancy and quality before use.

This video from North Carolina State University Libraries provides a good overview on using Google Scholar, including using the filters and advanced search.

Citation Management in Google Scholar

Google Scholar Library

Google Scholar Library provides a way to save citations found through Google Scholar to a Google account so they can be accessed in Google Scholar at a later date. Citations can be saved to the Google Scholar library by clicking the star in the row of links at the bottom of the citation.

A screenshot of the favorite icon for an article

The library is accessed by clicking the "My library" link in either the bottom right corner of the header or in the side menu that appears on the left after clicking the hamburger menu icon (three horizontal lines).

Citations in the Google Scholar Library can be organized by applying labels. For more information, see the Google Scholar Search Tips Library page.

Google Scholar Citations

The Google Scholar Citations feature allows scholarly authors to create a profile that can be used to track citations to their resources. Upon setting up a profile, authors can select the resources they created indexed in Google Scholar; the profile not only provides the number of citations and citing articles but also includes h-indexes and i10-indexes, citation graphs, and the ability to create alerts for new citations for either all authored resources or a specific resource. The author profile can also be public, making it discoverable whenever the author's name is searched in Google Scholar. 

The Google Scholar Citations author profile is accessed by clicking the "My profile" link in either the bottom right corner of the header or in the side menu that appears on the left after clicking the hamburger menu icon (three horizontal lines). If the active Google account doesn't have an author profile, clicking the "My profile" link will start the author profile setup process.

For more information, see the Google Scholar Citations information pages.

Citation Management Tools

Citations can also be taken from Google Scholar in a variety of standard formats to enable citation management in a third-party tool. In addition to providing basic citations in multiple formats to copy, Google Scholar can export citations to EndNote (via .enw files) and RefWorks (by connecting to a RefWorks account). Both the ability to copy formatted citations and the capability to export to citation management tools are available by clicking the quotation mark in the row of links at the bottom of each citation.

A screenshot of an article's citation link icon

More information about citation formats, including resources to ensure that the citation in Google Scholar is correct and complete, and citation management tools can be found on FSU Libraries' Citation Management Tools page and Citation LibGuide.

Exporting Citations to a Citation Management Tool

From the Google Scholar Library, a selection of the citations saved to the library can be exported in .enw (EndNote), CSV, or BibTeX format. This feature allows for the export of multiple citations at once.

Google Scholar can also create a shortcut for exporting citations to EndNote, BibTeX, and RefWorks, putting a link to one type of export in the list of links at the bottom of each citation. To enable this feature, go to the "Bibliography manager" section of the Setting page, shown below, and select the radio button next to  "Show links to import citation into" followed by a drop-down menu. Select the desired citation management tool from that drop-down list, then press "Save." For all future searches, the last text link below the citations in search results will say "Import into" and the name of the citation management tool.

A screenshot of the option "show links to import citations into" selected

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