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Gibson D. Lewis Library Libguides

Google Scholar Basics

This guide will assist users on the best practices for searching with Google Scholar.

What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is a web browser that searches for scholarly articles and other scholarly materials.

Did you know that you can add a Find it @HSC button to Google Scholar to easily find articles through library subscriptions?

Learn more by browsing this guide: Find it @HSCAuthor Metrics

Pros of Google Scholar

  • Google Scholar is much like Google and is simple to use.
  • Google Scholar allows for you to see articles related to the article for which you searched. It also shows how many times an article has been cited and by whom, and provides citations for articles in MLA, APA, or Chicago styles.
  • Google Scholar can display links to articles and books held through UNTHSC Lewis Library. For more information on how to add this feature, see the Find it @HSC tab.
  • Google Scholar allows you to save both citations and articles to read later.
  • Google Scholar allows you to find free preprint and open-access copies of journal articles on the web.
  • Google Scholar allows you to search multiple formats across multiple disciplines in one search.


Cons of Google Scholar

  • Google Scholar's coverage is wide-ranging but not comprehensive. It can be a research source, but should not be the only source you use.
  • Google Scholar does not provide the criteria for what makes its results "scholarly". It is up to the researcher to determine which of the results are suitable for their purposes.
  • Google Scholar does not allow users to limit results to either peer reviewed or full text materials or by discipline.
  • Keep in mind that a regular search displays highly relevant citations at the top of the list (just like in Google), not the most current materials.
  • Google Scholar may link to papers and articles on commercial publisher websites.  These sites will ask you to buy a subscription or pay for an article. Use the "Find it @ HSC" links or UNTHSC databases to look for a free copy of the article.
  • Google Scholar does not always give the full text. Articles indexed in Google Scholar may be accessible through UNTHSC databases. Select "Find it @ HSC" or search UNTHSC databases to see if we have full text access.

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