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Search Google Scholar

Search Google Scholar for journal articles, books, legal cases, grey literature, and other kinds of scholarly documents!

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Introduction to Google Scholar

About Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. It provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts, and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other websites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.

Features of Google Scholar

  • Search scholarly literature from one convenient place
  • Explore related works, citations, authors, and publications
  • Locate the complete document through your library or on the web
  • Keep up with recent developments in any area of research
  • Check who's citing your publications, create a public author profile

Search Results and Document Ranking in Google Scholar 

Google Scholar aims to rank documents the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each document, where it was published, who it was written by, as well as how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature.

Source: About Google Scholar

Why use Google Scholar?

Google Scholar can be a helpful tool when conducting research on your topic. As a scholarly search engine, it can lead you to resources that you may not have otherwise considered. 

Advantages of Using Google Scholar

  • Expand your search to resources not indexed in databases within the Library. 
  • Use natural language to search for relevant resources on your topic.
  • Identify resources, such as books, journals, and articles, as well as authors in your field of interest. 
  • Identify highly-cited literature.
  • Integrates with the Library. See the boxes below Extend your Search to Google Scholar from Roadrunner and Sync Google Scholar to the Library.

Disadvantages of Using Google Scholar

  • Access to a resource in full-text may not be available. When searching Google Scholar, you may hit a paywall that requests the purchase of the resource. Do not pay for a resource! ALWAYS consult with the Library if you require access to a particular resource. There are alternatives, such as interlibrary loan, to gain access free of charge.
  • Filters to narrow search results are limited. Sorting by discipline is unavailable, and there is no limiter to strictly search scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. 
  • Use caution when accessing resources through Google Scholar. The tool uses an algorithm to determine what scholarly-like materials should be included in search results. It is important to evaluate each result to ensure that content is produced by a scholarly and reputable source. 


Google Scholar Features

My Profile

The creation of a profile in Google Scholar provides a simple way for authors to keep track of citations to their own published articles. You can check who is citing your publications, graph citations over time, and compute several citation metrics. You can also make your profile public, so that it may appear in Google Scholar results when people search for your name, e.g., Richard Feynman.

NOTE: This feature is only available if you're signed into your Google Account. If you don't have an account and would like to create one, click here.

My profile

My Library

Google Scholar library is your personal collection of articles. You can save articles right off the search page, organize them by topic, and use the power of Scholar search to quickly find just the one you want - at any time and from anywhere. You decide what goes into your library.

NOTE: This feature is only available if you're signed in to your Google Account. If you don't have an account and would like to create one, click here.

To save an article, click the Star icon below the search result.Save articles using the star icon in Google Scholar

To see your saved articles, sign in and click My library using the Menu options in Google Scholar.

My Library in Google Scholar

Search Alerts

You do not need a Google Account in order to create search alerts and citation alerts. You can enter any email address of your choice. If the email address isn't a Google account or doesn't match your Google account, then Google will email you a verification link, which you'll need to click in order to start receiving alerts. 

To create a search alert, search for the topic of interest, and click the envelope icon in the sidebar of the search results page, as shown below. Enter your email address, and click Create alert. Google Scholar will then periodically email you newly published papers that match your search criteria. There's a link to cancel the alert at the bottom of every notification email.

Google Scholar search results screen with the Create alert link highlighted.

Citation Alerts

To create a Google Scholar citation alert, search for the title of your article and then click on the Cited by link, as shown below. Next, click on the envelope icon in the left sidebar of the search results page. Enter your email address, and click Create alert.

Google Scholar search results screen with the "Cited by" link highlighted.


Google Scholar Metrics

Google Scholar Metrics provide an easy way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Scholar Metrics summarize recent citations to many publications to help authors as they consider where to publish their new research.

To get started, you can browse the top 100 publications in several languages, ordered by their five-year h-index and h-median metrics.

Additionally, you can browse a list of top publications by category and subcategories:Top publications in Google Scholar Metrics

You can also view a list of highly cited articles for a particular publication by clicking on the h5-index: 

Google Scholar Metrics clicking on h5-index

A list of the highly cited articles from that publication will be displayed:

Highly cited articles in Google Scholar Metrics

For more information about Google Scholar Metrics, click here.

Google Scholar Advanced Search

Access Google Scholar's Advanced Search by clicking on the Settings menu in the top left Settings menu in Google and selecting the Advanced Search option. 

Access Google Scholar Advanced Search

Use the Advanced Search to locate resources with a specific phrase, by a particular author, or published in a specific journal, for example.

Google Scholar Advanced Search

Access to articles

For each Scholar search result, a version of the article that you can read may be provided. Access links cover a wide variety of ways in which articles may be available to you - articles that the library subscribes to (see this link for more information), open access articles, free-to-read articles from publishers, preprints, articles in repositories, etc. These access links are labelled [PDF] or [HTML] and appear to the right of the search result. If you have connected Google Scholar to the Library, you will see the Full Text @ NU link displayed.

Google Scholar search result

During the course of your search, you may find resources through Google Scholar that require subscription access or payment. Do not pay for a resource! ALWAYS consult with the Library if you require access to a particular resource. There are alternatives, such as interlibrary loan, to gain access free of charge.

Cited by and Related Articles Links

Another resourceful method for uncovering similar resources is to take a look at the citing articles, or the articles which cited your original article. This can be an effective method particularly when you are looking for the latest research on your topic. You will be moving forward in time given that the citing articles are building off of the research established in your original article.

Select the Cited by link under a Google Scholar search result to see newer sources of information that have cited the original resource:

Cited by link under search result in Google Scholar

You can also leverage Google Scholar's algorithm for finding resources related to a particular citation by clicking on the Related articles link underneath the search result:

Related articles link in Google Scholar

Cite Feature & Exporting to RefWorks

You can click on the quotation marks underneath a search result to review the citation format of a resource.

Cite feature in Google Scholar

A new window will display various citation output styles, including APA. You can also export the citation information to RefWorks using the link provided in the window.

Cite window in Google Scholar displaying different citation output styles

NOTE: It is extremely important to check the article citation for proper APA Style, as database citation tools are subject to error. The Academic Success Center provides access to Academic Writer, which provides over 150 sample references, as well as nearly 10 sample papers. It also incorporates all of the references and other content from the Publication Manual.

Create a Custom Link to Import References to RefWorks

You can create a custom link to Import into RefWorks that appears underneath each search result. To add this custom link, use the following steps: 

1. Click on the Menu settings in Google Scholar menu in the top left corner and click on Settings.                                                                                                                                              Google Scholar Menu

2. After clicking on Settings, refer to the Search results section, and under Bibliography manager, select the radio button to Show links to import citations into. Set the chosen reference management software to RefWorks using the dropdown and click SaveBibliography manager in Google Scholar settings to create an import link for RefWorks

3. An Import into RefWorks custom link will then appear under each search result.Google Scholar Search Result with Import into RefWorks custom link

NOTE: This setting works with your browser's cookies and cache. If you clear your cookies and cache, then you will need to follow these steps to add the custom link.

Search Author Profiles in Google Scholar

Discover prominent researchers in your field of focus and review lists of published works by searching Author Profiles in Google Scholar.

Use the methods below to search and browse author profiles.

Access Author Profiles from a General Google Scholar Search

1. Conduct your initial search in Google Scholar. After your search results are displayed, click on the Settings Settings menu icon in Google Scholarmenu and select Profiles

Profiles in Google Scholar

2. Browse a list of related author profiles based on your initial search query.

List of authors in Google Scholar's Profiles search

Click Linked Author in a Search Result

If an author has a Google Scholar profile available, it will be hyperlinked within a search result. 

 Hyperlinked author in Google Scholar to view profile

Click on the author's name to be redirected to the author profile page.

Example of an author profile in Google Scholar

Follow an Author

You can follow an author in Google Scholar to track and receive alerts on new articles, new citations, and related research.

Click on the Follow icon in the author's profile and mark the options to receive updates on new articles by this author, new citations to this author, or new articles related to this author's research. 

Follow an author in Google Scholar

Search Case Law in Google Scholar

Google Scholar allows you to search and read published opinions of U.S. state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, U.S. federal district, appellate, tax, and bankruptcy courts since 1923, and U.S. Supreme Court cases since 1791. In addition, it includes citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles, which allows you to find influential cases (usually older or international) that are not yet online or publicly available.

From the main Google Scholar search page, select the radio button for Case law underneath the main search bar. Enter a case citation or case name in the search box and click Search. You may also conduct keyword searches of the full text of case opinions by entering your search terms. Limit your search to federal courts or to specific state courts by clicking on Select courts

Case Law Search in Google Scholar                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Select Courts in Google Scholar search

Search Filters in Google Scholar

Compared to library databases, the search filters in Google Scholar are limited. Using the options to the left of the search results, you can limit results by publication date and sort results by date (newest first) or relevancy. Filters in Google Scholar

Extend your Search to Google Scholar from NavigatorSearch

NavigatorSearch includes Extend Your Search buttons to link you to additional sources of information by transferring your keywords and search phrases to other research databases and tools. 

These buttons are located on the far right of the NavigatorSearch page and allow you to replicate your search in Google Scholar, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global, and Statista at the click of a button. 

NavigatorSearch with search query outlined in red box and a line going to the Extend Your Search options on the righ side of the screen

  • Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature.
  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global is the official dissertations repository for the Library of Congress offering full-text access to over 2.1 million dissertations and representing more than 3,100 contributing institutions from across the globe. Filter results by institution to view Northcentral University dissertations. 
  • Statista provides access to statistical data for over 60,000 diverse topics categorized into over 20 market sectors.

Please note that more complex searches may not translate seamlessly when using these widgets, so you may need to modify your search when working in these alternative research databases and tools. 

Sync Google Scholar to the Library

Connect Google Scholar to the Library

If you regularly use Google Scholar to search for research materials and would like to connect Google Scholar to the Library to check for full text in Library databases, please follow the directions below:

  1. Before going to Google Scholar first make sure that you have logged into your NCUOne student portal. Once you are logged into your portal, go to and look at the upper left side of Google Scholar's home page. Click on the three horizontal lines and click on Settings.Google Scholar screenshot with the Settings link highlighted.
  2. Once you have clicked Settings, you will be taken to a page where you can search for libraries you would like to connect to Google Scholar. After clicking Library links under Settings, type National University San Diego into the search box on this page. Then, make sure that you check the box next to National University and click SaveNOTE: These settings are saved in your internet browser until you clear your cache and cookies. To save NU Library as your Library Link, simply repeat these steps.Google Scholar sceenshot with Library Links selected and National University San Diego in the search box
  3. Once you have clicked Save, you are ready to search Google Scholar. After completing a search in Google Scholar you can easily see which of the search results are available within the Library by looking for the link/icon shown below:
    Google Scholar search results with Full Text @ NU outlined

By clicking Full Text at NU, you should be taken to the full-text version of that search result within the National University Library databases.

NOTE: If a search result in Google Scholar does not display an open access PDF or HTML option or a link to find the Full Text at NU, consider placing an Interlibrary Loan request for the resource. 

Install Google Scholar Button

What is the Google Scholar Button? 

Google Scholar Button is a browser plugin that provides easy access to Google Scholar from any webpage. You can use it to locate full-text resources through the Library or through open access; transfer your search query from a webpage and rerun a search in Google Scholar; format a reference in a particular citation style format; and pin a resource to your Scholar library for reading at a later time.

Installing Google Scholar Button

Currently, the browser plugin/extension is compatible with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Add the extension to your browser to get started:

  • Download Google Scholar Button for Chrome
  • Download Google Scholar Button for Firefox
  • Download Google Scholar Button for Edge

Using the Google Scholar Button

Google Scholar Button incorporates research into your workflow by allowing you to run search queries, look up scholarly content, and locate relevant resources. 

You can use Google Scholar Button in the following ways:

  • Locate full-text content available through open access or directly via the Library by highlighting a citation and clicking on the tool. (NOTE: You must have the Library connected to Google Scholar in order to check for the full text in the databases.

Google Scholar Button example of highlighting a resource and selecting the tool to locate a full text copy through open access or the NU Library.

  • Rerun your general web search by clicking on the Google Scholar button.

Transfer general web search to Google Scholar

  • Use the Cite feature to preview the citation of a resource. (NOTE: It is extremely important to check for proper APA Style as citation tools are subject to error. The Academic Success Center provides access to Academic Writer, which provides over 150 sample references, as well as nearly 10 sample papers. It also incorporates all of the references and other content from the Publication Manual. For a step-by-step guide to creating an account go to the ASC's FAQ on signing up for Academic Writer.)

​​​​​​​Using the cite feature in Google Scholar Button