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What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is a subset of Google Web Search that enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including papers, theses, books, and reports.

Why should I access Google Scholar from the library’s website?

By searching Google Scholar from the Library’s home page, you will automatically have direct access, both on and off campus, to subscription articles already paid for through the library.

Can I access Google Scholar directly?

If you prefer to search Google Scholar directly, from the Google Scholar page, click on the Scholar Preferences link and select the University of Alabama (Full – Text @ UAlabama) as your institution.

What should I do if I’m asked to pay for the full text?

Google Scholar often links to versions of papers and articles on commercial publisher websites. These sites will ask you to buy a subscription or pay to access an article… Do not pay for articles! Look for the UAlabama links, either Full – Text @ UAlabama or Resources @ UAlabama. The UA Libraries already provide access to many of the journal articles indexed in Google Scholar.

What should I do if the full text is not available?

Any time you have trouble accessing full text (or any question), for help. The University of Alabama Libraries also provide access to materials not owned by or available through UA through Interlibrary Loan.

What disciplines does Google Scholar cover?

Google Scholar covers all subjects: science, technology, social sciences and humanities.

Can I trust the resources listed in Google Scholar?

Not all Google Scholar results are “scholarly.” It is important to carefully review and assess each information source for its appropriateness and relevance to your research.

What does “cited by” mean?

Google Scholar includes a list of references under each article and paper, so when an author cites old materials, even outdated information, these appear in your search results. These citation counts may not be as accurate as those in another UA database, Web of Science or SCOPUS.

What should I do if I can’t find the resources I need in Google Scholar?

If you’re not finding the information you need in Google Scholar, don’t forget that the UA Libraries offer hundreds of article databases on a wide array of subjects.

Does Google Scholar work with any of the bibliographic management software?

YES!  Google Scholar supports several bibliographic management softwares: BibTeX, EndNote, RefMan, RefWorks and WenXianWang. Using the "preferences" link, choose the software you are using.

What is the future of Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is still in beta. Many features and enhancements are in the works. We’ll try to keep an eye on it for you and let you know.

How can I get more help?

There’s always help available: Ask-A-Librarian.