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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 Searching

By default, Google Scholar presents a basic search field where any keywords can be entered. Additional tools supplied by Google can help you refine the search in much the same way as our academic databases.

On the Google Scholar page, click on the small downward arrow on the far right inside the search field.

Image of Google Scholar basic search

This box should appear when the arrow is clicked.

Image of Google Scholar advanced search

The first, third and fourth fields operate in many ways like Boolean operators: all words for AND, at least one of the words for OR, and without the words for NOT. The "where my words occur" toggle essentially changes the words of your search between a title or a key word search, but only one or the other. You may also include authors, journal titles, and dates or date ranges.

Google Search Results - Limiters and Sorting

Once you submit your search, the next screen contains ways to sort and limit your search results on the left side of the screen.

Image of Google Scholar limiters

If needed, use the "custom range" to add a range. This can be useful if you find the results are too broad for date. Please note that unlike most academic databases, Google Scholar can only limit its range by year and not month.

Furthermore, this is the only section of Google Scholar that allows for different sort options: sort by relevance or sort by date.

Google Scholar Search Results - Records

Lastly, we come to the Google Scholar search result records themselves. Let's look at one such record.

Image of Google Scholar record from search results

This record shows the article title, along with some of the authors, a portion of the journal title, and the year. A portion of the abstract follows. If you would like to read the full abstract, you can usually click on the article title to reach a page with the full abstract.

The "Cited by" field shows how many other articles have used that article as a reference, as far as Google Scholar knows.

"Related articles" might offer similar articles if you like that specific article.

The "Cite" function shows how to cite the article in the References section of a research paper, but please be aware that you should look over the citation in case there are areas that need correction. The "Cite" function is automatic and code-generated by Google rather than overseen by an actual person, which means there could be errors or the citation formatting could be out of date.

You may have also noticed two more links on the far right of this record: "[PDF]" and "Full-Text @IUN."

If you see a link with [PDF], [DOC] or some other similar descriptor, it means the article is freely available on the internet.

"Full-Text @ IUN" is the reason for accessing Google Scholar through the library and not directly. By going through the library, this link will show up if we have access to the article. You can then use it to reach the full text of the article.