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Google Scholar: Understanding Scholar

Use this guide to learn about maximizing Google Scholar for your research.

Google Scholar Search

About Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a search engine that provides links to full-text articles to which the University Library System subscribes or to articles made freely available by the publisher. Scholar also provides articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and scholarly articles posted on the web. In addition, many articles are available when the University of Pittsburgh has a subscription which would work with EZ Proxy. Finally, Scholar provides citations along with abstracts of the article if it is protected by copyright.

Pros of Scholar

  • Ease of use; similar features of Google web search
  • Search by cited feature
  • Ranking of results
  • Citation information provided
  • Search vast array of information; technical reports, preprints, societal publications
  • Full-text if available

Cons of Scholar

  • Full-text not available or restriction access without a subscription
  • Must search PittCat if off campus for subscription
  • Uneven coverage in social sciences, better for hard sciences
  • No limiter for just scholarly publications
  • Few options to limit or narrow search results