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Kate Gustafson's W131 Online Class Guide

This guide supports Professor Gustafson's online English W131 class with research.

Google Scholar

Use Google Scholar to check if we have access to a specific article online, by searching for the full article title. This feature only works off campus for IU Northwest students, faculty and staff, and will require a login from off campus. Advanced Search available on Google Scholar's main page.

Google Scholar Pros and Cons

Simply put, Google Scholar is a poor starting point for conducting your research. Among its potential pitfalls, Google Scholar:

  • does not check if a source is peer reviewed, and has no such limiter available.
  • does not provide other useful limiters such as document or source type.
  • lacks useful search fields like subject or ISSN.
  • may not have full text, and offers no way to request the article via interlibrary loan in those cases.

However, Google Scholar can be useful in situations where you are looking for a specific article and already know its full title. Google Scholar might be able to find the article as a free, open access resource somewhere on the internet.

Be careful with open access through Google Scholar, though, as Google Scholar can be very loose. It might link to older versions of the paper before they were submitted to a journal for peer review, for example.

When using Google Scholar, do not go directly to the site. Instead, use the search field or link in the previous box, or find it in the G section of our Resources A-Z guide. The reason will be explained on the "Google Scholar Searching" page.