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Tips for Searching Google Scholar via UMGC

What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is a search engine that provides information about (and, in some cases, also access to) certain documents from academic publishers, professional associations, government agencies, universities, and other organizations. These documents include journal articles, dissertations and theses, books, conference proceedings, reports, etc.

Although content found via Google Scholar is generally more scholarly than content found via "regular" Google, not everything that Google Scholar finds is actually scholarly. For example, Google Scholar search results may include newspaper and trade journal articles as well as reports, conference proceedings, and other documents that have not been subjected to a peer-review process.

At present, Google Scholar does not offer the option of limiting search results to just articles from scholarly/peer-reviewed journals. This search limiter is, however, available in many UMGC Library databases; see Using Library Research Databases to Locate Scholarly Articles.

Accessing Google Scholar

Be sure to access Google Scholar from the Library's A-Z list of databases, as that link for Google Scholar includes UMGC Library access configuration settings that will cause Find it @ UMGC links to appear next to search results for documents whose full text is available in a UMGC Library database.  The direct link for UMGC's instance of Google Scholar is:

Searching Google Scholar

When you access Google Scholar, you will be taken to the basic search page, which contains a single search box.

Performing a basic search

Google Scholar uses slightly different search operators than most UMGC Library's databases. For example, Google Scholar uses an implied AND; if two words are typed together in the Google Scholar search box, Google Scholar will automatically treat the words as if there was an AND between them, and it will search for documents in which both words appear. To search for an exact phrase, quotation marks should be placed around the phrase. Search tips for Google Scholar are summarized below:

Desired result Sample UMGC Library database search Sample Google Scholar search
Find documents that contain all search terms entered globalization AND leadership globalization leadership
Find documents that contain either or all search terms entered telecommuting OR teleworking telecommuting OR teleworking
Exclude a certain term from search results benefits NOT insurance benefits -insurance
Find documents that contain a particular phrase "human resources" "human resources"

Performing an advanced search

To access Google Scholar's advanced search page, click on the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner of the page and then on Advanced search, as shown in the screen shot below:

Accessing Google Scholar's advanced search

The advanced search pop-up window offers several additional search options, as shown in the screen shot below:

.Advanced search pop-up window

Note that Google Scholar does not apply the authority control that most UMGC Library databases do, so in order to ensure that you aren't missing out on any documents when running an author search, you'll need to search for different variants of an author's name. For example, to find articles by Kurt Lewin, in the search box next to Return articles authored by, you can enter "kurt lewin", but you should also search for other variations, such as "k lewin" and/or "lewin, kurt", etc.

Search Results and Finding Full Text

The search results pages will include various types of documents that match the search term(s) that you entered. The screen shot below shows a portion of the results for a search for "multinational corporations".

Search results page

In some cases, there will be a [PDF] or an [HTML] link to the right of a document's title on the search results page. Clicking on that link should take you to the PDF or HTML full text of the document.

In other cases, you'll see a Find it @ UMGC link, and clicking on that link will take you to a new page that will show you which UMGC Library database(s) contain the full text of the document. Clicking on the Get full text at link next to a database's name should take you to the document in the database that you selected.

In still other cases, there will be no links to the right of a document's title, which indicates that the document probably isn't available in full text from any UMGC Library database. Any document that's not available in full text from any UMGC Library database can be requested via our DocumentExpress service. There is no charge for using DocumentExpress. More information about DocumentExpress is available from DocumentExpress Help/FAQ.

More Information

For more information about Google Scholar, including additional search tips, information about setting up alerts, etc., see Google Scholar Help.