What is Google Scholar?
Google Scholar is a search engine that can find scholarly material such as peer-reviewed journal articles, books, reports, theses and dissertations on the Internet. Think of Google Scholar as another place to search, in addition to the databases to which Willamette subscribes. The library's databases provide precise descriptions of coverage and currency of information, unlike Google Scholar.
What do libraries have to do with Google Scholar?
Google Scholar works closely with libraries to recognize their holdings and more easily access materials, including those not owned by Willamette. By incorporating Google Scholar's “Library Links,” the Find it @ Willamette link will display within the results. This link searches our libraries' holdings for print and electronic materials. If Willamette does not own the item, you should have an option to request it through interlibrary loan.
Google Scholar recognizes Willamette's IP address range while on campus, and it automatically provide the “library links.” While off campus, users need to set up the Library Links in the Google Scholar settings: click the three lines (top left corner). Choose settings and then Library Links in the left menu. Type in "Willamette University" in the Library Links search box and then click check the box for Find it @ Willamette and then click Save.
What should I do if I’m asked to pay for the full text?
DO NOT PAY FOR ARTICLES! Look for the Find it @ Willamette If it turns out that we do not have the article available, you can still request it at no cost by using Interlibrary Loan. Google Scholar often links to commercial publisher websites which ask you to pay for access. Through our library, you don't need to pay for anything we get through interlibrary loan.
Can I trust the resources listed in Google Scholar?
Not necessarily. You will still need to evaluate what you find because Google Scholar includes material that may not be appropriate for your research. Some of these items include pre-edited articles and reports, as well as theses that may not be deemed as scholarly as other resources. You may also find errors in citation information.
Remember, not all scholarly journals are indexed in Google. Many important journals are not included, so you should not base all of your research on what you find in Google scholar. You may be missing some very important information.
What does “cited by” mean?
After you conduct a search in Google Scholar, you will see some references that include a Cited By link. Google Scholar can tell you what sources have used information from this resource.
Be aware that there is some debate regarding how citations are counted for both Google Scholar and Scopus. When in doubt, check with your academic department or professor to find out which is preferred.