Google Scholar is definitely a great academic search engine for research students and academics. Besides searching for academic literature such as journal articles, peer-reviewed papers, books, reports…etc, Google Scholar also enables you to create your personal library where you can save and organize your materials. And if you are an author, you can use its metrics to learn about who cites your search and where it was cited. 

In today’s post, I am sharing with those of you who are new to Google Scholar some of the basic tips to help you make the best of this academic search engine. To learn more about Google Scholar, check out its Help page

1- Use Keywords 

The first thing you do when you type in your search query is to click on that little icon in the search box and refine your keywords just as you would do  in Google search.

2- Look for articles by author 

If you have a specific author in mind or you want only papers written by your favorite author, you can type in his/her name and hit search.

3- Refine your search by publication name and date 

Using Google Scholar advanced search, you will be able to specify the name of publication you want to search and you can also choose the date range of your search results. You can for instance, choose a date range between 2008-2009 and Google Scholar will only return scholarly papers published during this time frame.

4- Legal Documents 

If you are looking for legal documents then make sure you check the box as in the screenshot below

5- Manage your Bibliography 

If you use a third party bibliography management tool such as EndNote, RefWorks, RefMan, or BiTex, then make sure you enable this feature. Click on Settings icon on the upper right hand corner, scroll down to Bibliography Manager and check the box as shown in the screenshot.

6- Enable Library access 

If you have access to your campus library then you can add it to Google Scholar so that each time you look for papers , Google Scholar will provide you with links available from your library database. 

7- Create Alerts 

Creating alerts allows you to stay updated about recent releases in your field of study. Here is how to create an alter in Google Scholar. Head over to Google Scholar homepage and click on Alert tab, type in your alert query, provide your email and you are good to go. Each time a scholarly paper is published online and falls under your alert query Google Scholar will notify you through email.

8- Use Metrics 

Google Scholar Metrics provide an easy way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Metrics

 allows you to see which articles in a publication were cited the most and who cited them. 

You can also explore publications in research areas of your interest. To browse publications in a broad area of research, select one of the areas in the left column.To explore specific research areas, select one of the broad areas, click on the “Subcategories” link and then select one of the options.

9- My Citation 

Google Scholar Citations provide a simple way for authors to keep track of citations to their articles. You can check who cites your publications, view 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