Google Scholar can be a useful tool for your research, but it has certain capabilities and limitations you should be aware of in order to get the most out of using it. You also will need to either change Google Scholar's settings to enable it to connect to some of the content in the Pfau Library's databases, or be sure to always use the Google Scholar on our website which has already had its settings changed. Find it under G in our alphabetical list of databases.
But even if you don't want to deal with changing Google Scholar's settings, make a point of watching the recorded workshop, Set Up Google Scholar to Connect With Library Resources From Home, below in order to know how to use Google Scholar to its best advantage.
GOOGLE SCHOLAR'S ADVANCED SEARCH
Google Scholar's Advanced Search is one of the items in the drop down menu (hamburger icon) in the upper left hand corner of the screen.
You have quite a few choices for creating your search, but in order to find results from the ACS database, enter ACS into the Return Articles Published in box. To find results from just one ACS journal, enter the journal title here instead of ACS.
Please note: The section of the Advanced search, where my words occur - anywhere in the article, makes it seem as if Google Scholar is searching every word of all the available full text. It is not.
WHAT ARE YOU SEEING?
1. The title of the article. Click on it to go to the full text, if available.
2. The authors followed by tiny, incomplete bits of the rest of the citation.
3. A brief excerpt from the abstract.
4. Clicking the star saves this item to your library. You get exactly what you see on the screen where you click the star, not the full text.
5. Clicking the quotation marks will show you a citation for the article in 5 different style formats but not in ACS format. These citations are automatically generated and are not very accurate.
6. The number of other articles that have cited this article. HINT: a good way to find more articles on your topic.
7. Automatically-selected articles that might be related to your topic.
8. Google Scholar's web crawlers may have found more than one occurrence of the same article.
LIMITING OR NARROWING YOUR SEARCH RESULTS
The Advanced Search gives you some options for refining or narrowing your search results such as a particular author, publication, or a date range. One very useful option that is missing here is the ability to narrow your search results to scholarly journal articles with original research.
FINDING THE FULL TEXT
You can click on the title of the article but also on the links to full text that will appear on the right hand side of the screen.
Google Scholar does not search the entire content of the ACS database. Depending on your exact topic and type of assignment, this may or may not be a problem. Here's an example:
Google Scholar found 41 articles on tardigrades in the ACS database (shown above). The same search in the ACS database brought back 81 items, 63 of which were scholarly journal articles with original research (shown below).
WRITTEN & ILLUSTRATED INSTRUCTIONS
Set Up Google Scholar to Connect With
Library Resources From Home
This half-hour-long recorded workshop provides excellent information on Google Scholar's capabilities and limitations then shows you how to change the Google Scholar settings so it can connect with the Pfau Library's databases.