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Evaluating Online Resources and Effective Internet Searching

What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is Google's academic search engine. Unlike Google, which searches everything freely available on the Internet, Google Scholar is more selective, only returning results from: 

  • academic publishers
  • professional organisations
  • university repositories
  • professional websites

Google Scholar can be a good place to start a search, helping to: 

  • locate obscure references
  • find more details on partial citations or incorrectly cited works
  • identify grey literature not often indexed elsewhere

Tips for searching Google Scholar

Avoiding paywalls

The majority of journal articles in Google Scholar are available via subscription only and you will often be asked to pay a fee to access an article. 

However, the Library subscribes to many of these journals. Login to Google Scholar via the Library Databases A-Z page and Find it @ Curtin links will be displayed. These links will allow you to access anything within the library's subscriptions without being prompted to pay. 

If you are a member of more than one library, you can set up affiliations with up to five institutions by:

  1. Selecting the Google Scholar menu (located in the top-right hand corner of the screen) 
  2. Choosing Settings
  3. Selecting Library links
  4. Searching for and adding any libraries you have a membership with

Advanced search

Like Google, Google Scholar has an Advanced search function which allows for more precise searching. As with the library links above, the Advanced search can be found in the menu (select Advanced search). Options include:

  • searching by selected date ranges
  • specifying where your keywords should appear (full text versus title)
  • searching for particular authors
  • searching within specific journals
  • excluding words from your search

Finding similar articles

If you have located a relevant article, you can find additional, related research via Google Scholar. 

  • Selecting the Cited by link will provide you with a list of articles which have cited this article. Similar to reference list mining, citing publications are published more recently than the article you are looking at (reference list articles on the other hand will be older). 
  • Selecting the Related articles link will bring you to a list of similar resources sharing some of the same keywords and/or references.