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Research Tips & Techniques Guide

Strategies to increase efficiency in research

Using Google Scholar

Pros and Cons of Using Google Scholar 

What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar provides access to many references and a limited number of free, full-text articles. You can search across 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 - but it's important to note that most of the content in Google Scholar is not free.

  • user friendly, accessible platform
  • limitations on narrowing results to full-text, open access (free) (vs multiple limiters in Virtual Library)
  • most content is indexed only, not full-text (vs the majority of content full-text in Virtual Library)
  • usually hit a paywall (NEVER hit a paywall in Virtual Library)
  • if full-text is not available through Google Scholar, you must go through many steps to find the content elsewhere (vs one-stop research in the Virtual Library)
  • has multiple formats (ebooks, journals, multimedia)
  • not all content is credible (vs ALL content in the Virtual Library is credible)
  • there are standards for deposit in Google Scholar, but not everything is peer-reviewed or scholarly
  • helpful in locating open-access (free) content not in the Virtual Library

TIP: use Google Scholar to look for a known article if you don't find it in the Virtual Library 



Conclusion: start your research in the Virtual Library and then use Google Scholar to supplement this research.

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