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Google Scholar

This guide provides information on the pros/cons of using Google Scholar in the academic setting to supplement library resources.

Google Scholar logo

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. You can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.  

(About Google Scholar)

The Good and the Bad of Using Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a great place to get you started in supplementing your search, and should lead you to other resources. Think of it as a resource you can use in addition to the Gumberg Library catalog and databases.


  • Google Scholar is a very good starting point for verifying a citation or performing a broad search across disciplines.
  • Useful for finding conference papers and other grey literature that is not always included in article databases.
  • Combines the ease of Google with access to scholarly materials - searches the Web for scholarly articles, abstracts and books, weeding out popular magazine, newspaper or Internet articles.
  • Allows you to search broadly across multiple disciplines in one search.



  • Coverage is predominantly medical, scientific and technical. It is not the best source for social science or humanities topics.
  • Not everything is peer-reviewed, nor can you search or filter by peer-review status.
  • Limited searching capabilities (minimal search refinements and sorting features).
  • Full-text versions of many items indexed by Google Scholar are not available for free through the Internet; however, many are accessible through Gumberg Library subscription databases or through Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad).