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Search Engines for Academic Use: Google Scholar: Introduction

Our guide to Google Scholar.

Google Scholar Pros and Cons

All disciplines (including humanities); variety of formats e.g. articles, papers, books, open access materials No listing of what is included; not clear how often it is updated
Good for getting the “big picture” around a research topic Too many irrelevant items may be retrieved – cannot fine-tune search as with a database search
Good for locating material that may fall between disciplines (e.g. How people remember music/melodies) Cannot limit and sort results by type (e.g. peer-reviewed articles, reviews)
Good for identifying which subject-specific databases to use – use as a back door Cannot search within a specific discipline
Can limit by author, publication etc. (use Advanced Search option) Cannot use controlled vocabulary to search by subject
Good for tracking down incomplete citations Cannot email lists of search results (though saving to My library or use of Publish or Perish means you can export results)
Can link to library holdings  
Cited by feature; can save to Endnote, etc.