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Google Scholar: Search Strategies & Tips

Getting the Full Text

Because the articles in Google Scholar come from a wide variety of sources, the method of accessing the full text of an article will be different for each article.

1) First check to see if there is a link to the right that says [PDF] from or Full Text from and then the name of a database or institution. Articles available through CSU's databases will have a link that looks something like this:

2) If that link isn't showing, try clicking on the title of the article. Then search for a link or button that allows you to download or view the full text.

3) If the article is blocked by a paywall, don't pay to access it. The library has many resources available that can help you get access to the articles you need for free. Double-check that the article isn't in our databases, then use Interlibrary Loan to order the article or, if you need help, contact your Personal Librarian.

Additional Tips

Still not finding what you're looking for?

  • Try to only use first initials when searching for author names. Many articles only include the first initial of the author.
  • Abbreviations of journal names are often used, e.g. J Biol Chem rather than Journal of Biological Chemistry.
  • Keep in mind that Google Scholar gathers bibliographical data from text and citations, including pre-prints, which may include incomplete information. Often, when searching in Google Scholar less is more.
  • Try Advanced Search to give Google more specific information about what you hope to find

 

Getting Started

Before searching Google Scholar, it's a good idea to set your preferences to connect to Cleveland State University, which will allow you to discover articles through the Library's subscription databases. You can change your settings by clicking Setting (the gear icon Gear Iconnear the top of the Google Scholar search page. Keep in mind that even with this setting on, Google Scholar does not search all of the CSU Library's resources.

https://content.screencast.com/users/MandiGoodsett/folders/Jing/media/f96d574d-c74b-42a3-8289-08bee82dc80a/googleS1.png

Then choose Library Links.

If you are on campus, Cleveland State University should be already checked. Off-campus, you can search for CSU and you'll be prompted to log in using your student ID and password.

Results List

You can narrow the results of your search by using the limiters on the left-hand side of your screen.

Each result will look something like this:

Screen shot of what citation looks like

Note the line in green that tells you who wrote this article, who published it, and when it was published. These details are important for determining the quality of the article.

You can also see how many times the article was cited by other articles, related articles, or a citation for the article that you can use for your own bibliography. If you do use the generated citation, make sure to double check that it's correct!