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What Google Scholar Can Do for You!: Strategies for Searching

Search Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Getting Started

Getting Started!

Before searching Google Scholar, it's a good idea to set your preferences to connect to Eastern University's Warner Library. Doing so will allow you to discover articles through the Library's subscription databases. You can change your settings by clicking "Setting" (the gear icon Gear Icon ) near the top of the Google Scholar search page.

change settings, link with library databases

Sorting Results

After searching in Google Scholars, there are limiters on the left side of your search results. These limiters are there to help narrow your search results to a manageable number (between 30-80 sources).  As you will see below on the left of the example search for "Hybrid Corn" you are able to limit based on Article Type and Time Period. In addition to narrowing your search, you can sort the results by time, relevance (this is deemed by Google), and you can choose to include/exclude Patents and Citations. 


Looking at a single result, we have a few options to find the item.

Look at highlighted text--

  • "Cited By" will show you a list of works that cited this article.
  • "Related Articles" will direct you to articles on the same or a similar subject.
  • Location links on the far right will indicate where you can click to go directly to the article "pdf"

Advanced Search Options

Above, you'll notice that if you hover over the downward pointing, you will get access to Google Scholar's advance search features. By clicking on that arrow, a box will pop up with many features that will refine you search before you even see the results. You will be given the option to include all words, exact phrases, any of the words, at least one of the words, or none of the words that you input as your search terms. You will also be given the option to have Google search for your search terms in only title, or throughout the article. Other advanced features include limiting results to specific authors, publishers, or publishing time periods.

Additional Google Scholar resources

Author Search

Unlike the other two databases, Google doesn't search from a select number of publications -- it searches whatever it was able to find out on the Web.  It will look in journals, theses, books, abstracts, and court opinions, from publishers, repositories, universities, and anywhere else it's spiders can crawl.  This also means that there's no way of knowing what or how it is searching.  (There's no way to submit corrections either!)  Because it searches in so MANY more places, Google is likely to return MANY more results, but for the same reason, the results you get back are likely to be much less precise.

Use Advanced Scholar Search (click the down arrow in the search box) which allows for author, publication and date range searching.

Importing References to Refworks

If importing one citation at a time:

First, you need to set your preferences so you're seeing the RefWorks link in Google Scholar:

  1. From the Google Scholar search page, click on the Scholars Preferences link.  
  2. Scroll down to the Bibliography Manager section.
  3. Select Show Links to Import into and select RefWorks from the drop-down.
  4. Click Save Preferences. These preferences should persist from one browser session to the other, as they are located in your cookies.

To initate a direct export to RefWorks:

  1. Conduct your search in Google Scholar
  2. Each record displayed will have an Import into RefWorks link. Clicking on the link will launch the RefWorks login page.
  3. Once you log in, you are brought automatically to the Edit view of the reference. If you do not wish to edit the record, you can navigate to any other area of RefWorks.
  4. Your record is stored in your Last Imported Folder.

IMPORTANT!!! Make sure you have your Refworks account open!