Published on January 3rd, 2019 | by Sunit Nandi


What is Google Scholar and How to Use It?

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature.  Google Scholar helps people find relevant and genuine work across the world of scholarly research. From one place, you can search across many subjects and sources such as articles, thesis, abstracts, books and court opinions, from online repositories, professional societies, academic publishers, universities and other websites.

How is Google Scholar Different from Google?

Google searches for public web content. Google Scholar is different. It searches the same kinds of scholarly books, articles, and documents that you search in the Library’s catalog and databases. The scholarly, authoritative focus of Google Scholar distinguishes it from ordinary Google.

For example, if you are searching for the National American University in Google, you will probably see the university page and information related to the university in the results page but if you search for the same in Google Scholar, you may probably get information regarding an article, journal or book the university published.

Instructions to use Google Scholar

Finding an Article

You can search by the author, title, date and you can also go for advanced search which will let you search by the author, title, and publication fields, as well as limit your search results by date.

Saving an Article

Google Scholar states in the login page under ‘My Library’, that you can load search results into your own private archive by clicking ‘save’ under search results. If you don’t find that option then you can highlight the search results and copy/paste the information that you need into a Word file with no problem.

Reading Full Text

Lets say, making a generic search for ‘poems of John Milton’ will return a large number of articles from journals and books, seemingly in random chronological order. Many of the results have full articles available as PDF files, conveniently displayed on the right-hand side of the screen. You may/may not find what you are looking for in the first page.


If you want the abstracts of articles, Google Scholar is useful. A researcher gets the academic freedom to use such tools for their research. You’d better have two or three search terms to narrow the search otherwise the desired article will be buried in junk. Citations and cross-references are easy to retrieve.

Benefits of Google Scholar

1) Identifies a Collection of Articles for a Particular Research Topic

Google Scholar can help identify a collection of publications for a particular research topic. It provides an organized and instant method for scholars to build on through a sort of digital snowball for literature retrieval. Traditional literature searches often require individuals to manually conduct these citation searches. Moreover, scholars can create their personalized library of collected articles for future references. Even if you are studying in the online Law Colleges, you will have to perform well in the academics and Google Scholar can help you with that.

2) Track Research through Google Scholar Profile

Google Scholar can help researchers track research through a scholar’s profile page. Over multiple years, researchers establish research agendas. A researcher’s Google Scholar profile contains an overview of an individual’s research and can help researchers track research papers.

3) Provides Historical Trends in Research

Understanding the direction and trends of research are important to informing the intentionality of research, such as determining the need to review a topic, applying a new lens to examine an issue, or producing a creative synthesis of existing literature. A history of a publication’s citations can be accessed from a scholar’s profile page.

4) Promotes Meta‐Analytic Studies

Google Scholar allows researchers to utilize a single, free‐online resource to conduct searches within multiple databases, thus increasing researchers’ ability to locate articles on a specific topic. This feature is particularly useful for identifying studies that are to be included in a meta‐analysis, which requires that researchers bring together studies from a wide array of disciplines.

5) Bridges Scholarly Research and Social Media

Google Scholar plays the dual role of a web‐based search engine and a social media platform in the creation and dissemination of research. There are social platform components embedded across the first four benefits discussed that help users to expand their research resources, networking, collaborations, and exposure.

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.

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