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Anth 455: Medical Anthropology

What is Google Scholar

Google Scholar searches specifically for scholarly materials such as journal articles, research reports, dissertations and theses, preprints, technical reports, patents, manuscripts in preparation, working papers and many other document types. 

When you do a search in Google Scholar, you get a list of citations. You'll get links to the full text if the Consortium Library subscribes to the journal title, if it's from an open access journal, or if the researcher posted the article on her/his website. 

Things to consider when using Google Scholar:

  • You can't easily see what's included in Google Scholar: results will be articles, websites, essays from organizations, even PowerPoint presentations!
  • It is difficult to determine with 100% accuracy all that Google Scholar searches. Therefore, we do not know the breadth of what Google Scholar is indexing and consequently cannot judge the comprehensiveness or completeness of the results of a literature search.
  • We cannot tell how frequently items in Google Scholar are updated.
  • Searching in Google Scholar is imprecise when compared with discipline-specific databases.

Tips for Searching Google Scholar


Open Google Scholar from the list of databases on the library website to gain access to the full text of articles paid for by library subscriptions and licenses.

Try to only use first initials when searching for author names. Many articles only include the first initial of the author.

Abbreviations of journal names are often used, e.g. J Biol Chem rather than Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Keep in mind that Google Scholar gathers bibliographical data from text and citations, (including pre-prints, which may include incomplete information). Often, when searching in Google Scholar less is more.

Boolean operators (+ or -) are available, but not truncation.

Click the "hamburger menu" in the upper left corner to access the “Advanced Scholar Search” options.

Start by entering keywords in the “with all of the words” box.

Consider using "exact phrase" or "without the words" or "where my words occur" options

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