Linderman Scholar Monk

Google Scholar

Google Logo Sticker

A metasearch engine for scholarly materials through the web

What isGoogle Logo Sticker Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is a search engine that indexes scholarly materials that are available through the World Wide Web, as well as library holdings from WorldCat, and citations from other materials. Some of the full text items that Google Scholar points to are available free of charge; some are not.

In particular, many publishers who put their journal issues up on the web have submitted their sites to Google Scholar, so that pages pointing to online journal articles are retrieved, but a subscription to the electronic journal or a one time payment is necessary to access the article itself. (If Lehigh libraries are subscribed to the electronic journal and you are using Google Scholar from on campus, you may actually be able to get into the full text of the article.) Google Scholar tries to target "peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research.. . . articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web."

How do things get indexed in Google Scholar?

Publishers contact Google Scholar to have their material included. The references/citations of articles are also indexed, so that while a book or journal may not be available on the web, the citation will be shown if it was cited in a document Scholar indexes.

The indexing is actually done by Google Scholar's 'webcrawler' software, so it may take some time for new items to be indexed.

Results are ranked by 'relevance' based on occurences of terms in the result document, as well as by Google's co-citation algorithm: "This relevance ranking takes into account the full text of each article as well as the article's author, the publication in which the article appeared and how often it has been cited in scholarly literature".

That includes selections from

Not all of any of these collections is searchable through Google Scholar; only article collections that provide at least an abstract for free can be indexed, and not all of the available content has been or will be indexed.

So, what is Google Scholar good for?

What is Google Scholar Not Good for?


OpenWorldcat searching (Library Search)

The entire body of OpenWorldcat has been made available to GoogleScholar for indexing.

Book entries are likely to look like this:

Clicking on Library Search brings up the OpenWorldCat page:

If the user is in an institution or library that is part of OpenWorldcat, there will be a box in the upper right corner with any direct library services, such as a link to the institution's catalog.

To find libraries that hold this book, the user enters their postal code or state in the 'Find Libraries with Item' Box:

A list of the libraries in Worldcat holding the item appears below the Find Libraries box:

Clicking on the library name will link to the record in its catalog; Clicking on the I button will link to the library's information, main or hours webpage.

The user can also click on the links in the book record to search those terms in Openworldcat on Google Scholar.

To search only Openworldcat, append to your search:

medieval gardens

Reaching Journal articles

Journal and proceedings citations will appear like this:

The title link will go to the first-named cite (, in this case); to try your luck at another site, click on one of the other linked site names.

In general, when the full text or PDF item is freely accessible and indexed, it may not be the first link in the set, so if the main link is to an index or a secured full text, it's worth trying the other links.

View as HTML

When the link is to a PDF file, GoogleScholar will often provide a View as HTML link which shows the PDF text translated into HTML. Be careful, as some information can be lost in this translation.

Cited by references

To find other resources in Google Scholar that cite a book or other item, bring up the entry and choose the Cited by [##] link:

That will bring up a list of items in Google Scholar that cite the item.

Web Search

Clicking on the Web Search link launches a search in all of Google, not just Google Scholar, for keywords from that item.

Advanced Scholar Search:

You can search Google Scholar using field limits, or go into Advanced Search to limit by date or publication.

Also, you can use phrase searching ("surround the phrase with quotes"), the + sign before a term to require it, and the - sign before a term to remove it, such as poland history -holocaust.

Further Reading

GoogleScholar has generated a lot of comment and controversy. Here's a selection of articles about it:

Last updated by Jennifer Heise,, April 14, 2005