Tips Every Walden Student Should Know About Google Scholar
Learn about Google’s specialized online search engine designed for scholarly literature.
Google Scholar is designed to help you discover articles, books, and other scholarly literature from academic publishers and research institutions. It’s a vital resource when conducting high-quality research in a bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, or certificate program at Walden University.1 That’s why it’s important to understand how to navigate the platform as effectively as possible. Explore these helpful tips on how to use Google’s specialized online search engine.
To find full text …
For most of the articles, abstracts are available. However, you will likely want to access entire articles, which often requires a subscription. Fortunately, you can go through Walden to find full-text articles on Google Scholar by doing the following:
- Access Google Scholar through the Walden Library site. To access Google Scholar directly, you need to manually link Google Scholar to Walden Library.
- Search articles by title, author, digital object identifier, or keyword.
- Click “Find @ Walden” on the right side of the page for full-text access.
To find the most recent papers …
Search results are not typically sorted by date but instead by relevance. To find the latest articles on a subject, do the following:
- Click "Since Year" to display recently published papers, sorted by relevance.
- Click "Sort by Date" to display only the newest additions, sorted by date.
- Click the envelope icon to have new results sent to you via email periodically.
To find better answers …
Sometimes subjects we aren’t entirely familiar with may have secondary terminology unbeknownst to us. For instance, if you’re conducting research on heart attacks, you may want to identify related, scholarly search terms. In this instance, myocardial infarction may be an effective choice to find better information. Additionally, if the search results prove to be too specific, you can peruse the “References” section to potentially locate articles that may be more general. If you have the opposite problem—the results are too generalized—you can look at the newer papers under the “Cited by” section. This section typically will lead to more specific articles on the subject.
To create a Google Scholar library …
Over time, you may decide you want to build a personal collection of articles. To do this, you need to set up a Google Scholar online library. This is done by saving articles. You can save an article directly from the search page by clicking the star icon below a search result. To then access your library, click “My Library” at the top of the Google Scholar homepage. From here, you can scroll through your saved articles and create labels to keep topics organized. Labels are created by clicking on an article’s title, opening the “Labels” dropdown at the top of the page, and choosing the label you want to apply. Only you can see your library.
There are many benefits to using Google Scholar, including direct links to Google Books, a full-text keyword search, and access to scholarly literature beyond the Walden University Library. However, Google Scholar isn’t a replacement for the library databases and should only be used to supplement your Walden Library searches.
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