Monday, October 25, 2010

Using Google Scholar to find articles

When you have a research question that spans several different subject areas, you can use a multidisciplinary database such as Academic Search Complete, JSTOR, Academic OneFile or ProQuest Research Library. But many articles are kept only in subject-specific databases and searching all of them would take a lot of time. Fortunately there's a way to search all of the library's databases at once.

If you go to http://www.esc.edu/googlescholar, there is a link to log into Google Scholar. It will prompt you for your college login and password, which regular Google Scholar doesn't do. The reason you have to log in through the college is that now Google Scholar will link you directly to full-text in the library.

First, there are a few things to know about
searching in Google.
  • +keyword - this keyword must be in every search result
  • -keyword - this keyword can't be in any of the search results
  • "two words" - everything in quotation marks is searched together as a phrase
  • Advanced search lets you limit your search to a specific date range or subject area
Here is a screenshot of what your search results will look like. Notice the Full-text @ ESC Library link. Just click it to be taken to your article.


You may also see links to PDF files in that space. These full-text articles are not in our library, but are stored in repositories, usually belonging to the university or research institute where the author works. They are perfectly legitimate as scholarly articles. You will be able to find out what journal the article was published in - in most cases, the journal version is the "official" version that you should cite.

Questions? Ask a Librarian

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