introduction to google scholar how to search using free … · 2014-01-29 · how to search using...

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LIBRARY KEYLL DARREE Tel: 642993/642974 Email: [email protected] Web address: INTRODUCTION TO GOOGLE SCHOLAR How to search using free text Log onto

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  • LIBRARY KEYLL DARREE Tel: 642993/642974

    Email: [email protected] Web address:


    How to search using free text

    Log onto

  • Google Scholar is a search engine that enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including journal articles, books, theses and reports. It is an excellent resource however you do have to be aware that not all papers retrieved are scholarly and not all journals published are available from Scholar. Therefore it is good practice to evaluate results retrieved and conduct searches in other databases. It is important to remember that when searching Google Scholar or even Google we are using free text searching. In other words you choose the search terms and Scholar does the rest. This has its drawbacks as we all have a different command of language. For example: some of us may search for articles on hay fever and others may search for allergic rhinitis. As you can imagine we will get different results. Sometimes this is acceptable depending on your information needs. You will need to think about your subject carefully and the terms you use. You can also get a gut feeling about how much information is out there on a particular subject, so you know that there might be lots on one subject but then others you may struggle. The latter is when it is important to think about the terms you have used.

  • Enter your search:

    You will notice that the search tracks items that contain all of your terms ie. urinary tract and infection. They are not all necessarily sitting together as a phrase. To retrieve your terms as a phrase use speech marks “ “

  • Take a closer look at your results. You have now retrieved the phrase urinary tract infection which is more specific however, be careful as you could loose relevant hits using this method. You will also notice that the dates of items retrieved can be quite old. To get more uptodate hits use the date selection bar as below.

    Scholar will automatically do the search again and apply the date filter.

  • When you see PDF or [HTML] on the right hand side this usually indicates that the article is available full text and can be downloaded. You will need to follow the links, most are straightforward. One word of caution however, the links do not always work and this can be frustrating. If you need the item contact a member of library staff and we will try to get it from our sources.

  • To refine your search further try applying another concept. This will enable you to look for items that have the phrase “urinary tract infection” and the phrase “cranberry juice”. You will notice that the word and has been omitted. Google Scholar automatically ands searches together. Now fewer hits are retrieved but possibly more relevant because they contain both of your search terms. This approach uses BOOLEAN LOGIC. Three little words and, or not. These can be used with a combination of searches. For example: I might choose to search for “hay fever” OR “allergic rhinitis”. This allows for alternative terminology to be covered when I am searching. Most databases and search engines support BOOLEAN LOGIC however, some may not support all three words. In Google Scholar you will need to make sure the Boolean operator OR is in capitals.

  • We now have a new set of results containing both search concepts.

  • Google Scholar also has an advanced search facility. Hover over the arrow and click advanced search.

    Enter your search in the appropriate box.

  • A new feature just added is the Cite option. Click on cite to reveal cite box then click on that. Your reference will now be displayed in one of three formats MLA, APA and Chicago, choose your preferred style and then you can copy and paste it.

  • Another feature which is available from Google ( and Google Scholar ( is the Alerts. Do a search for the topic of interest, e.g., "Urinary Tract Infection"; click the envelope icon Create Alert in the sidebar of the search results page;

    Enter your email address, and click "Create alert". You will be periodically emailed with newly published papers that match your search criteria.

  • Google also has a feature that allows you to save articles in Google Scholar Library (My Library), which you will need to register for. You can save articles right from the search page, organize them by topic, and search within your own library to quickly find just the one you want - at any time and from anywhere.

    Google Scholar is all about free text searching – you get out of it what you put in! “Think outside the box”. Choose terminology carefully, keep an open mind and be patient. If you have to go onto page 2 for results so what! Google Scholar is an excellent resource, quick and easy to use but remember it’s not the only resource out there. Google Scholar can be fun! Enjoy! 29th January 2014