How To Use Google Scholar

Friday, 28 August, 2020 - 08:21
Terrique Faro

Google may be a large corporation that is slowly devouring our world but dang it, if it was an assignment search engine you'd be hard-pressed to find a student that doesn't pop out this search engine whenever it comes to researching an unknown topic.

So because Google results are often governed by algorithms and popularity rather than source legitimacy, it can lead to you getting information that is either misinformed or flat-out untrue. l

Luckily Google offers a service that combines the instant convenience of Google with the legitimacy of peer reviewed oversight and this is this Google Scholar. In order to use Google Scholar you have to sign up with a Google account - it will ask you some information about yourself including your schools or work and they will send you an email back and verify your identity or an official website that you're associated with and any specific academic areas of interest.

This is more of a formality in the event that you have any of your work officially published in an academic publication so it's always nice to have just in case, after that there's only one last thing you have to do to ensure your access to proper sources. Go to the settings menu, click the librarian link and you will have to search and approve the school libraries. Your profile is associated with these links and will allow you to read the sources for free and if you don't have a library access link, consult with the representative of your local library in order to gain access.

Once your account is set up, you'll be able to search any subject as you would normally do with a regular Google search. Though the key distinction scholar makes from regular Google is that it specifically displays books and articles written on the subject rather than websites. If the result has a website or PDF link to the right of the resource that means that there is a full-text version of that source that you can access for free. So it should be noted that some of these results will not actually take you directly to the text rather show you a citation of the work this is usually done for published works that can only be physically obtained.

If you want to use any of these sources you can actually request an interlibrary loan to request these physical copies. Another difference from standard Google to scholar is that some of the features that are displayed under the results - the first shows how many people in sources have cited this work as a reference in other publications. This is often a good indicator for how useful that source has been for other people. There's a link that can display some similar articles and there's also a link that can physically request some of these sources which can be very useful if it isn't already. In the library you can also click to save this results in a personal library for later use.

I hope this has helped you get a better understanding of Google Scholar.

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