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Literature Search: Google Scholar

Google Scholar

In addition to the library’s resources, researchers can take advantage of search engines available on the web. Let’s take a look at one of these resources, Google Scholar.

Just like the general Google search engine, Google Scholar uses web crawling robots called Googlebots that collect documents from the web that match the user's search terms, filter out the results and make them available through the Google interface. Google uses a built in algorithm to make an educated guess as to whether a source qualifies as being scholarly. It ranks results by order of relevance, determining relevancy by the full text of the source, its author, the publications in which it appears and the number of times it is cited.

Note that unlike the library's subscription literature databases, such as EBSCO and ProQuest, Google Scholar will not allow the user to sort all results by date. Clicking the "sort by date" option on the left hand side of the results page will only sort new results from the past year by date. It is possible, however, to filter results by date using the date filters located on the left hand side of the results page.

Check the "include citations" box, and Google will search documents found on the web for citations to other documents not located on the web. Google Scholar, of course, is not able to provide access to the actual document in such cases. Likewise, some of the articles that Google locates on the web are behind paywalls or require subscriptions for access. In cases where the full text of an article is unavailable, email the citation to the library and we can usually obtain the article through interlibrary loan.