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Use Google Scholar Effectively for Research

What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is an online, freely accessible search engine that lets users look for both physical and digital copies of articles.  It searches a wide variety of sources, including academic publishers, universities, and preprint depositories looking for:

While Google Scholar does search for print and online scholarly information, it is important to understand that the resource is not a database.  A database, such as those on the Undergraduate Library Find Articles page, is a subscription-based resource that searches for articles that have been published.


How Google Scholar Can Help You

Google Scholar:

Why a Database May be a Better Choice than Google Scholar


As a student, you have access to countless databases that cover a wide variety of disciplines, areas that may not be represented as well by Google Scholar.

Google Scholar:

Evaluate Your Sources: Whether you get an article from a database or from Google Scholar, make sure to evaluate it to determine if it fits what you are looking for. What is the publication type (is it a journal or a magazine?)? Who is the author and what are their credentials? How recently was it published? Does the information in the article fit your needs? See our page on Evaluating Scholarly Sources for more questions to ask.

Ask a Librarian: If you are ever in doubt about the reliability and credibility of a resource or need assistance finding a proper resource, do not hesitate to ask a librarian.

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