How to Use Google Scholar for Your Research Paper
Most students find it very difficult to find documents to assist in their research paper / academic work. Realizing this great demand, Google tried to create an exclusive tool for this search engine: Google Scholar.
Before the internet, the student needed to go to a library to look in books, newspapers, and encyclopedias for subjects that made references to the subject of his work. Currently, access to this information has become more practical, and you can find it on websites, portals, and search engines.
Some pages specialized in the subject and created an extensive collection of documents and study materials. This is what happened with Google Scholar, which has become a reference in academia.
The platform promises to gather the largest number of scientific documents published in different areas and languages to facilitate students’ research paper. Incredible as it may seem, the tool fulfills its promise and provides several texts, books, articles, among other documents.
Check how to use Google Scholar, its main advantages and disadvantages, how to use it, and what precautions should be taken when using it as your reference source.
What is Google Scholar?
Among the various services offered by Google is the Google Scholar tool that helps students find works made and published, such as scientific articles, theses, abstracts, among other types of publications.
Since the service is free, you will have no trouble accessing it. However, in some cases, you will only be able to download files if you are signed in to a Google account.
Google Scholar intends to bring more practicality to students’ lives, who often cannot find relevant information on certain subjects. The tool has a large collection of documents found in several languages, but that can be translated for easier understanding.
How to use Google Scholar?
The system is very similar to Google’s search engine. However, you need to be aware of some details on the platform to facilitate and improve your search with the return of relevant information.
To do the research
When you are on the search page, enter the subject you want to search for. Since the layout is similar to the traditional Google search engine, you can also filter all results.
These filters can be by publication time, relevance, or date. Also, you can search the web.
To do an advanced search
If you want to do an advanced search, click on the arrow in the search field’s right corner. Then fill in all the fields that you think are necessary, which can help you have a more accurate search. Here’s how you can find articles:
- With all the words;
- With the exact phrase;
- With at least one of the words;
- Without certain words;
- Where words must occur, anywhere in the article or the title of the article;
- Display articles by a specific author;
- Display articles published in a given journal;
- Display articles between dates of your choice.
To use the library
The system allows you to keep all documents to help you when you need to access them again. When you want to save the file in your library, click on the “save” button under each search result.
If you want to access your library, click on “my library” and then on the red “activate” button. Now, if you intend to see all the articles saved in your library, click on “my library.”
All articles of your own will be automatically included in your library if you have a Google Scholar profile. Also, you will be able to see all the content you have quoted.
To use your quotes
Before monitoring citations to your publications, you will need to register by filling in data such as name, affiliation, email for verification, areas of interest, and homepage.
Now you need to add the articles you wrote within your created profile, and if you need to, you can edit, delete or add more articles. In the end, you must choose how the tool should update your articles, whether automatically or by sending an email for your review and confirmation.
To create alerts
The “Create alerts” tab is for you to receive the latest updates. To do this, click on “create an alert,” then type in the keyword, your email address and click on the red button “create an alert.” There are no restrictions on how many alerts you can create. They will be received in your email, and if you no longer want to receive alerts on a particular subject, you can unsubscribe.
To use metrics
The platform makes it possible to analyze the visibility and influence of articles that have recently been published. To do this, use the “Metrics” tool that will display a list of the 100 most cited journals.
The “H5 index” and “median H5” columns are used to organize the ranking with the average number of references that your articles obtained, allowing you to make a thorough examination of the metric indexes of the articles displayed since the system offers several hyperlinks for this.
Metric analysis of journals can be viewed in nine languages. To activate this option, you check this option, look in the left corner of the screen.
By clicking on “settings,” you can change some commands such as the number of results per page, languages, among other data in your account.
To do an extension in the browser
You can add the Google Scholar extension to your Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browser. That way, you will have quick and easy access to the platform when connected to any web page.
How to use Google Scholar to find scientific articles?
- You need to access the Google Scholar page;
- Type the subject or discipline you want to research, being able to access the entire web;
- If you are searching for a specific author, type “Author: name”;
- To filter the search and view the results in chronological order, click on “sort by date”;
- Suppose you want to filter by publication date, select “specific period,” and enter the starting and ending year. For example: type articles from 2012 to 2014 and click “search.”
- You can also include and remove from the search results for citations and patents with the chosen keyword. Just check or uncheck the side menu.
What sources does Google Scholar use?
Google Scholar aggregates content from different sources in different languages, allowing you to have a wide range of documents and even make comparisons between them. The tool collects results from both leading universities and government agency libraries. However, when you research other languages, the platform compiles content from international scientific journals.
What are the benefits of Google Scholar?
Check out the main benefits of Google Scholar:
- You can do research efficiently and easily;
- You don’t have to leave home to look for a library;
- There is no need to invest in study materials;
- The tool is completely free;
- Each search is organized by keyword, making it easy to search for a book or topic of interest quickly;
- Uses the references of the surveys already registered through a database;
- Access to numerous documents in several languages;
- Various features such as advanced search, personal library, personal quotes, access to updates, creation of alerts, and metrics.
What are the disadvantages of Google Scholar?
Like any tool, Google Scholar also has some disadvantages, such as those mentioned below:
Lack of results for certain areas
The tool does not have many results for all areas of knowledge researched. A good example is if you are searching for the keyword “humanities,” the information that appears is quite out of date.
Form of the hierarchy of results prioritizing the most searched documents
As the tool works according to the traditional Google search engine, the first results that appear in a search are most cited. However, those who are not well ranked obeying website optimization techniques will have more difficulties in appearing at the top of the searches.
Therefore, some sources that should be relevant to you may be left out of your research paper, as they do not meet the established criteria. This can make your search difficult, having to skip several pages to get where you want.
Some irrelevant search results
When you are searching, results may appear from sources that are not academic, even that is not reliable or are out of date in the system.
No guarantee of success
The Google Scholar tool is free to search for any document. However, it only indicates the sources. If the document you want to access is on a paid platform, you will have to pay a fee for it.
What precautions are necessary when using Google Scholar?
You need to be very careful when using Google Scholar when doing your work, especially when using a quote since, in scientific works, you need to inform the source that should come from a book or article.
Therefore, you should not copy excerpts from Google; it should only be used as a search, since teachers can easily verify if this happens, which can harm their work, bringing serious consequences for the student.
Understand that the tool cannot replace clinical trials, reviews, and other studies that should compose a bibliographic search. Therefore, search the platform, but be sure to look for bibliographic references.
As the Google system indexes published works, you may come across paid content that requires a fee to have access. Otherwise, you will only be able to view the summaries and summaries. So stay tuned when you are doing your search on the site.
Google Scholar offers several resources and a series of safe results that promise to help students in their scientific research paper. You need to know how to manage it in your favor to compile the largest number of documents relevant to your research paper.