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Google Scholar: Best Practices

An introduction to Google Scholar.

How-To Set up your Google Scholar account (and set up your Library Links)

Preferences - FAU articles

Want to use Google Scholar to find articles at FAU Libraries?

  1. If you already have an account with Google, click "Sign In" at the top right of the screen, and log in on the next screen.
     
  2. If you do not have an account with Google, create a free one at the top right of the screen. Click "Sign In" at the top right of the screen, and then create a free account using the link directly above the log-in box, and then "Sign In" as above. Note: This does not require that you have a Gmail email account.
     
  3. Once you are logged in, click on "Settings" at the top right corner. If this is not shown as an option, click on the "gear" icon at the top right corner for Options. 
     
  4. Click on "Library Links" on the left side of the page. If "Florida Atlantic University" is not listed as an option, type it into the box and search for the university. Once it has been located through the search, click the checkbox for FAU Libraries and any other libraries you wish to designate (up to a maximum of 5).
     
  5. When you are done making these and any other changes to your "Scholar Settings", click the "Save" button at the bottom right corner.

Basic Search Operators

Learn these operators and tips for Google Scholar... then use them for Google searches too (and in other databases)!

  • the "+" operator makes sure your results include common words, letters or numbers that Google's search technology generally ignores, as in [+de knuth];
  • phrase search only returns results that include this exact phrase, as in ["as you like it"];
  • the "OR" operator returns results that include either of your search terms, as in [stock call OR put];
  • the "intitle:" operator as in [intitle:mars] only returns results that include your search term in the document's title

Advanced Search: General

To enter the Advanced Search from the Google Scholar search page, 
  • Choose 
  • Click on the down arrow at the right side of the search box. 
  • Enter the search information in the appropriate boxes.
  • Click the magnifying glass to begin the search.  

How Do I...? Quick Tips

How do I search by title?

Put the paper's title in quotations: "A History of the China Sea."

How do I sort by date?

Results are initially shown sorted by Relevance. Click on "Sort by date" to show the results in date order.

If you want to find recent papers, select the date range from the dropdown menu labeled anytime under the search box.

Click on "Since Year" to show only recently published papers, sorted by relevance;

Click on "Sort by date" to show just the new additions, sorted by date.

You can also receive newly added search results by email. To sign up for email updates, do a search as usual and click on the envelope icon on the left side of the page, labeled "Create alert."

How do I search by author?

Use the "author:" operator, e.g., author:"d knuth" or author:"donald e knuth". See our Advanced Search Tips for more information.

Locating the full text of the Article

Abstracts are freely available for most of the articles. Some articles may require a paid subscription to read.

Try these tips to look for Full Text of an article.

  • Click a library link, e.g., "Find It @ FAU," to the right of the search result;
  • Click a link labeled [PDF] to the right of the search result;
  • Click "All versions" under the search result and check out any alternative sources;
  • Click "Related articles" or "Cited by" under the search result to explore similar articles.

Some results may be available as

  • [CITATION] (listed as a "citation only," however, full text may be available from another source. See right side of page next to this entry).
  • [BOOK] (available or cited in Google Books), 
  • [DOC] (available as an MS Word document), 
  • [HTML] (web page format), or 
  • [PDF] (requiring Adobe Reader).