What exactly is Google Scholar?
Google Scholar is a free academic search engine that indexes information from universities, publishers, and digital repositories. Google Scholar is NOT a full text database. Rather than store content, it uses Googlebots (Google's web-crawling robots) to search for content that is considered to be "scholarly" according to its algorithms. Read more from Google Scholar.
What is considered scholarly?
With Google Scholar, "scholarly" refers to information that is based on research or the cited work of others. It does NOT mean that all search results are peer reviewed and there is not currently a way to search or filter for peer reviewed content with Google Scholar.
To search specifically for peer-reviewed content, you must use search interfaces for GUHSD Online Databases such as the GUHSD Discovery Search.
Google does not share its algorithms and they are not perfect, but Google Scholar will generally return content that includes:
- journal articles, including preprints (pre-publication versions of articles)
- case law and patents
- grey literature, including conference papers
- abstracts and reports
- theses and dissertations
Google Scholar may be used to search across disciplines, although it has been known to be particularly strong in science, technology, and medicine.
How do I search Google Scholar?
A benefit of Google Scholar (versus directly searching online databases) is that it has a clean search interface similar to a standard Google Search.
In the Google Scholar menu, there is also an option to do an Advanced search.
What Full Text Content is Actually Accessible to Read?
First, it's important to know that you cannot read the full text of all search results. Luckily, now that GUHSD online databases are linked with Google Scholar, you can read more!
When logged in with your @guhsd.net Google account, you will automatically be linked to GUHSD online database holdings. You can double check this by going to the Google Scholar menu and selecting Settings > Library Links and confirming that Grossmont Union High School District - Open Full Text from GUHSD is checked.
When scanning searching results, full text that may be accessed to read is linked in the right column. So, keep your eye on the right!
More Search Results Options
When viewing Google Scholar search results, there are filtering options in the left column similar to those in online databases.
Each search result also has some basic quick functions underneath article snippets.
- STAR - Selecting the star icon for any search result will add it to your "library," which you can access by clicking on My library in the top-right corner of Google Scholar. Library items may be searched and also further organized with labels.
- QUOTATION MARK - Clicking on the quotation mark icon will expand a generated citation for the information source that you can copy-and-paste.
- CITED BY # - This number gives you a general sense of how widely reputed the information source is, and if clicked, you can view other sources that have cited it as a reference. This is a good way to discover related content.
- RELATED ARTICLES - Clicking on this hyperlink will return other content that is similar to the particular information source.
For fun, what exactly is the story behind Google Scholar?
Google Scholar launched in 2004. Celebrating its 10 year anniversary here are a couple of articles from 2014 that share some history:
You can also follow more updates on the Google Scholar Blog.
And, as always, reach out to your school site's Teacher Librarian to collaborate regarding information resources. Let's work together to Open Doors for Students!
February 21, 2020 GUHD FutureForward Libraries
See the full Resource Snack Time Archives at bit.ly/guhsd-rst.