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Information Literacy: 22. Google Scholar

Strategies used to incorporate research skills for the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Management.

Google Scholar Search

Google Scholar Search

An Intro to Using Google Scholar

Learn how to use Google Scholar in this short video and how to connect to resources (3:01 mins).

Google Scholar FAQ

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. Google Scholar can be used in addition to Willamette's subscription databasesprovide descriptions of coverage and currency; Google Scholar does not provide these details.

What do libraries have to do with Google Scholar?

Google Scholar works closely with libraries to recognize their holdings to provide 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 see an option to request it through interlibrary loan.

Google Scholar recognizes Willamette's IP address range while on campus; 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 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 THE ARTICLES!  Look for the Find it @ Willamette If we do not have access, you can still request it at no cost by using Interlibrary Loan. Google Scholar often links to commercial publisher websites which require payment for access. 

Can I trust the resources listed in Google Scholar?

Not necessarily. You still need to evaluate what you find since Google Scholar includes material that may not be appropriate for your research. Pre-edited articles, reports and theses may not be deemed as scholarly. You may also encounter errors in citation information which are automatically generated. And Google does not index all scholarly journals; you may miss important research if you rely entirely on Google Scholar.  

What does “cited by” mean?

After conducting a search, some references include a Cited By link. This tells 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 for preferences.