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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.

What is Google Scholar?

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.  Google Scholar Logo

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.
  • Useful for finding conference papers and other grey literature that is not always included in article databases.
  • Weeds out popular magazine, newspaper or Internet articles that appear in a standard Google search.
  • Allows you to search broadly across multiple disciplines in one search.
  • It is not always the best source for social science or humanities topics - most papers are medical, scientific and technical .
  • Not everything is peer-reviewed, nor can you search or filter by peer-review status.
  • Limited tools for refining your search or sorting resources.
  • Full-text versions are not available for free through the Internet - you may need to take additional steps to access them through Gumberg's subscriptions!

Google Scholar Blog

Google annually releases statistics about journal impact on its site that can be helpful for scholars looking to publish in prestigious, highly visible journals in their field. Their blog also offers tips for using Google Scholar and reports on updates to its scholar profile tools. 

Selected links are provided below. To view the entire blog, go to

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