And while looking for help on how to go about it there is one piece of advice you will hear very often— “Use Google Scholar to find previously published papers in your field.” But no one tells you that it is no longer enough to simply point your browser to Google Scholar to receive useful search results. As a result, you risk your own work being repetitive and derivative unless you understand how to do an effective literature search on Google Scholar.
Please note that when searching for a phrase in which the order of words is important, you can click on the down arrow in the search box and choose the ‘exact phrase’ option or simply place quotation marks (“) around your terms.
Pressing the down arrow will also uncover advanced search options that let you exclude other words or choose a range of dates for publication.
Google Scholar, in particular, can often help you choose between two terms or verify that a term you use is common to the field.
If you have questions about a specific term that Google Scholar cannot help you answer, e-mail us at Using Google Scholar We previously discussed the use of Google Scholar to determine field-specific conventions, including by employing advanced search techniques. Read More »Using Google Scholar In other articles, we described how to use Google Scholar to determine field-specific conventions, how to perform advanced Google Scholar searches, and how Google Scholar...
It’s not so great if you are trying to find academic content on any particular subject. Nothing will be saved about your search results there.
This is not the time for Google to skew results based on past search habits. Your search results will also not be influenced by anything else.
This means that if you search ‘Climate Change in National Parks’, your results won’t be impacted by your having searched ‘National Parks Vacations’ earlier.
Don’t simply type keywords into Google Scholar in hopes that something useful will emerge.
On the next page, you will see the number of results in the upper left-hand corner. Now, compare that number to the number of results for immune-compromised: In addition to the much lower number of results (16,000), Google Scholar is actually suggesting the term immunocompromised instead.
This feature is helpful when you have entered a term that is used infrequently or is an uncommon or incorrect variant of a common term.