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How To - Get the most out of Google Scholar: Google Scholar

What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar searches for:

  • Scholarly articles
  • Conference presentations or papers 
  • Masters' theses 
  • Doctoral dissertations
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Citations for books and book chapters

Google Scholar probably has more scholarly articles than other types of information, but keep in mind that not all of your results will be from peer-reviewed journals. (If you're not sure what peer-reviewed journals are, check out our guide on publication types.)

Want to make sure a specific result is from a peer-reviewed journal?

  • Google the title of the journal, and look at its "about" page (ex. Journal of Refugee Studies).
  • Ask your instructor or a librarian. 

How to get to Google Scholar

Here are 2 common ways people access Google Scholar:

If you search "normal" Google for a topic, Google thinks it's scholarly and will provide you a link to Google Scholar results for that topic. Here's an example where I typed "secondary special education" - the link to Google Scholar results is right at the top.

Connect Google Scholar to the Library

Unfortunately, a lot of the content in Google Scholar requires you to pay a lot of money for an individual article, or to get a subscription to a specific journal. Both options are expensive - the good news is that the library already subscribes to a lot of these journals. You can use Google Scholar to search, but the library to get access to the articles. Here's how: 

  1. Once you're on the Google Scholar page, click on the three stacked horizontal lines icon in the upper left corner of the page:

    Screenshot of Google Scholar homepage with red arrow pointing to settings icon

  2. Depending on your screen size, you will see the cog () icon in one of two places. Click on it, and then select Library Links on the next page: 

  3. Search for "Shepherd University", and select the option that says "Scarborough Library, Shepherd University - FindIt@Shepherd" and "SHEPHERD UNIVERSITY - ProQuest Fulltext"

After this is all set up, and you're searching Google Scholar, you can just click "FindIt@Shepherd" to access the article:

Important: If we don't have it, and you have a few days, then request it through Interlibrary Loan. It's free!!


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