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Using Google and Google Scholar Effectively

Where is Google Scholar?

The quickest way to get to Google Scholar (besides actually googling "Google Scholar") is to go to: 

scholar.google.com

Google Scholar Settings

In the Library: When you search Google Scholar while using the SDCC Library computers, results will automatically include links to the full-text scholarly content available from our database subscriptions. These will appear on the right-hand side of the results page. 


From off-campus: Before you search Google Scholar from an off-campus location, you will need to change the Settings-- it's just a few steps. This will connect full-text results to the SDCC Library database subscriptions in order to have them appear on the right-hand side of the results page.  See directions below (and/or watch this 1 minute video):

Step 1: Go to the three bars in the top left corner to open the menu:

Google Scholar setup step 1: open menu

Step 2: In the menu, click on the Settings link:

Google Scholar setup step 2: Settings link

Step 3: Click the Library links link

Step 4: Type in "san diego city college"

Step 5: Click the box for San Diego City College Library - View It @ City College

Step 6: Click the Save button

Google Scholar setup steps 3 through 6

Next, do a search in Google Scholar. You will see your results as a list of citations. To the right of the citation list will be links to view each article if it is available in full text on the web or at SDCC Library.

Step 7: For any article with the View It @ City College link, click that link and it will take you into the SDCC Library system to view the article in one of the Library's databases. 

Google Search setup, Step 7 results list

If for some reason you're having trouble getting to the full text of an article, click the "All [number] versions" link under the abstract to see where else it may have been posted. 

Anatomy of a Google Scholar Citation

Parts of a Google Scholar citation, numbered

  1. [Format] and Title: Format of article (HTML, pdf, book, etc.) and title of article
  2. Publication info: Author(s), title of journal, publication date, publisher
  3. Abstract: Summary of article
  4. Star icon: Save to your library (Google Scholar account)
  5. Quotation mark icon: Copy citation for this article (in MLA, APA, etc.)
  6. Cited by [#]: List of other articles that have cited this article
  7. Related articles: List of articles on similar subjects
  8. All [#] versions: List of other sites that have posted this article
  9. [Web site name]: Click to access article from a web site
  10. View It @ City College: Click to access full-text of article from a SDCC Library database

Google Scholar Advanced Search

Go beyond the basic search box! Try the Advanced Search in Google Scholar. You can choose it from the Google Scholar menu.

Google Scholar advanced search boxes


Take 3 minutes to watch this explanation of the Advanced Search (it will save you time later!): 

Copyright: UTS. This video, Google Scholar Advanced Search, is shared under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

Google Scholar Alerts

Google scholar alerts sequence

Setting up Google Scholar Alerts:

  1. Click the "hamburger" icon (three horizontal lines) in the top left corner of the Google Scholar screen.
  2. Click the link for Alerts. You'll have to log into Google Scholar if you are not already logged into Google another way. Then you  will go to the Alerts screen where you can set up Alerts or check results for those you have already set up.
  3. Click the Create Alert button. This will go to a window allowing you to set up an alert query.
  4. Fill out the Alert query box with your search.
    • The example, "climate change" AND wildfires AND California, uses quotation marks around a phrase and the Boolean operator AND to connect the terms so as to get all terms in at least one search result. 
    • The email address can be changed here (it doesn't have to be a gmail account).
    • Then click the dropdown for the number of results you want to see at a time. 
  5. Click the Create Alert button to complete the setup. You'll get an email confirming the alert setup.

To unsubscribe from the alert, click the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of any alert email you receive.

See more details, including how to follow specific authors and how to set up alerts in EBSCO databases, on this libguide from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

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