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This guide includes tips for advanced Google searching and using Google tools.

Google Scholar Search Tips

Use operators to refine your search terms. Google Scholar also supports most of the advanced operators in Google web search:

  • the "-" operator excludes all results that include this search term, as in [biomedicine -magnetic]
  • phrase search only returns results that include this exact phrase, as in ["as you like it"]
  • the "~" operator will find synonyms for that word, as in [~robotics]
  • the "OR" operator returns results that include either of your search terms, as in [soccer OR football]
  • the "intitle:" operator as in [intitle:mars] only returns results that include your search term in the document's title
  • the "author" operator [author:flowers] returns papers written by people with the name Flowers, whereas [flowers -author:flowers] returns papers about flowers, and ignores papers written by people with the name Flowers
  • using quotes around a common word makes sure your results include common words, letters or numbers that Google's search technology generally ignores, as in ["the" border]

About Google Scholar

What is Google Scholar? 
Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.

Features of Google Scholar

  • Search diverse sources from one convenient place
  • Find articles, theses, books, abstracts or court opinions
  • Locate the complete document through your library or on the web
  • Learn about key scholarly literature in any area of research

Scholar Search

Google Scholar Search

Google Patent Search

You can search for patents in Google Scholar or use the search service Google Patents.

Library Links in Google Scholar

Google Scholar offers a feature called "library links" that will link to articles in journals and databases that the Library has a subscription to. These links automatically appear if you are accessing them from on campus. After performing a search, if an article is available from the ULS, you will see a link that says "Full-Text @ Pitt." Click on the link and you'll be taken directly into the database. This works for book reviews, too.

If you are off campus, here are a couple of options to access this feature:

1. Access Google Scholar from the Databases A-Z list, instead of going directly to Google Scholar.

or 2. If you are signed into your Google account, go to Google Scholar, choose Settings in the menu on the upper left corner of the page, and select Library Links. Search for University of Pittsburgh and select the PItt options. One has already been selected in the screen capture below.

screenshot of google scholar library links page

Research Tips

Google Scholar can be used to:

  • Find the list of publications by one author.  With this list, you can then turn to the Library Catalog to locate the scholar’s books or articles.
  • If users have one piece of the article's information, like the title, but no citation, google scholar can be used to find the citation of the source. Unless the article is very obscure, Google Scholar will find a record of it. By searching the title within quotation marks, you can almost always find a correct citation on a webpage.