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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.

Getting Help


Frequently Asked Questions


When should I use Google Scholar?

Google Scholar can be a great starting point for some areas! Coverage is predominantly medical, scientific and technical. It is not the best source for social science or humanities topics. Google Scholar should never be the only database you search. It should supplement more comprehensive and authoritative databases provided by Gumberg Library.


Can I trust the resources used in Google Scholar?

Not necessarily. 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 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 may be missing some very important information! Google Scholar also does not cover material written pre-1990 that are included in databases through Gumberg.


What does "cited by" mean?

After you conduct a search in Google Scholar, you will see some references that include a link which reads "Cited by" followed by a number. This number tells you how many authors have referred/cited this particular paper in their own work. Clicking this link will take you to a new result list of these citing articles. This can be especially helpful when searching for sources on the same topic. If you are an author, this link will provide a listing of others who have used your work, which can help gauge the scholarly impact of your citations.

Note: Google Scholar only includes articles that are indexed within its database, which is a much smaller portion of all full-text articles than can be found in Gumberg Library's subscribed databases.


What do I do if Google Scholar doesn't have a full-text version of an article?

You may be able to access the article through Gumberg Library's resources! Check out our guide on Finding Full Text for more information on how to access scholarly articles.

Web Resources

These links from around the web offer more guidance on using all that Google Scholar has to offer!