Google Scholar How to Search: An Extensive Guide for Students

A literature search is one of the significant phases while conducting research. However, while executing research, you often look for assistance on how to gather the data precisely for your paper. Here, Google Scholar becomes super convenient for you to help you find previously published papers relevant to your area.

But, only a few people know about google scholar and its uses. Therefore, in this elaborate guide, we’ll let you know everything about “google scholar how to search” to get your research done in an appropriate way.

During the research work, there is a great risk of plagiarism because of a lack of citations and repetitive ideas. These factors may prevent you from executing an impactful literature review. Thus, you would require to type something in the google scholar search engine that shows the exact results relevant to your keywords. Hence, make sure to spend some time writing a literature review because this part has the most probability to get plagiarizing.

Nonetheless, to execute fruitful research and end up composing a versatile piece of paper, follow the following google scholar search tips and accomplish success in your thesis or dissertation.

What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is a search engine, which is explicitly used for academic and research purposes free of cost. This online search engine is also considered an academic or literature version of the google search engine.

A google scholar is different from a standard google search engine because it particularly searches sources of universities, publishers, and scholarly websites instead of showing all the indexed data on the websites.

Fundamentally, google scholar is one of the further subdomains of Google. This platform specifically searches scholarly sources against the keyword you insert into the search bar. However, Google is somehow a reckless platform because it may also include results that do not match your keyword.

Therefore, you should learn how to use google scholar and some tips and tricks to use google scholar how to search.

Learn How to Use Google Scholar for Students

You can use google scholar in numerous ways to get your research work done hassle-freely. However, a detailed method on how to search in google scholar is mentioned below:

1. Google Scholar Basic Search

a.    Visit the Google Scholar Webpage

Google Scholar How to Search
  • Visit any preferable internet browser, such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc., and type “” in the search bar.
  • Now you’ll be redirected to the google scholar search engine. It looks very similar to a normal google webpage. Yet, the google scholar logo would also be changed from the standard google logo.
  • You can access google scholar through desktop, laptop, or smartphone (android and iOS)

b.    Sign in to your Google Account

sign in google scholar for students
  • In order to access google features and services, the user is first required to log in to her google account.
  • All you need to do is just click the “sign in” button” in the top right corner.
  • Enter your email and password.
  • Once you’re signed in, you will be able to access your Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Drive, and other sub-platforms.

c.    Sign in to your Library Account

google scholar for students screenshot
  • Once you’re signed in to your google accounts, click on the “Settings” from the sidebar menu and select “library links” on the left.
  • Type the name of your institution and save it.
  • There are many sources of google scholar with restricted access. But if you are accessible to the library with the subscription to the right services, you would be able to access these sources as well.

d.    Enter the Keywords

google scholar how to search screenshot
  • In the google scholar search engine, enter your keywords relevant to the topic you want to search.
  • For instance, if you are working in the field of education you could type “contemporary teaching methods and approaches” in the search bar.
  • However, you also modify your keyword for extensive research. For instance, you can also use terms like “strategies” and “techniques” for modern teaching.
suggestions on Google scholar
  • Google Scholar allows its users to seek published articles, journals, and research papers as well as case studies relevant to your research.
  • However, right below the search bar, you can see the options of “articles” and “case law” to make your search more specific.

e.    Acquire Google Scholar Citations

Google Scholar serp
  • Upon your search, you would get a number of articles, books, theses, dissertations, and other publications.
  • Concentrate on the titles: whether they match your search or not. Also make sure to keep an eye on the author’s name, publication dates, and other information that google provided.
  • For instance, amongst a lot of search results, if you find the most precise article that exactly matches your search, you can easily access its sources.
  • As highlighted in the image above, when you click on the “cite” button, you would get google scholar citations of the webpage in different referencing styles. As you can see in the image below.
Cite details
  • Here, you would get every information such as the publishing date, author name, title, journal name, etc. Or else, you can copy and paste the references from here directly.

f.     Access Full Text

google scholar how to search - access full text
  • Some results on google scholar against your keywords might be restricted. However, there are some with full-text access that allows you to read and download the complete journal or article in PDF form.
  • Click on the scholar results you’re interested in and a full text would be previewed on your screen. However, if it has a limited preview, you would only be able to access its abstract rather than the full text.
  • Yet, if you’re logged in to your institutional account, google scholar may provide you full-text access from specific sources.
  • But, if you don’t have an institutional account, some restricted sites provide text accessibility by paying them.
text access after paying
  • There are also some sources that, when you click on them, preview abstract only. But, there is an option to preview in PDF. When you open these papers in PDF form, there are more chances to access its full text.

2. Google Scholar Advanced Search

a.    Try Out Advanced Search on Scholar

google scholar advance search
  •  If you want to go beyond the basic search on google scholar or you want to get more specific results against your keywords, go for an advanced search.
  • You can access these advanced features from the left side of the search results as shown in the above image.
  • With the google advanced search, you would get numerous options to specify your search and obtain more precise results.
  • These options allow you to enter the date range of publishing, language, and ranking of the results (recent to oldest).
google scholar how to search - time filter
  • You can also customize the date range as shown above if you don’t require older searches. For instance, if you don’t want publications that are older than 2010, you can customize the year.

b.    Utilize Boolean Search Connector

boolean operators - Google Scholar how to search
  • Just like the regular Google, the Google Scholar search engine can also be used instinctively by simply inserting the keywords you’re interested in.
  • Nevertheless, you can get more precise results by using Boolean connectors in the search engine.
  • You can add “hyphen (-)” after the keyword to make your search more particular.
  • For instance, if you are looking for modern teaching methods and approaches specifically for speaking skills, add this keyword after the sign.

c.    Use Commands to Restrict your search

Commands to Restrict your search
  • Google Scholar also allows you to add alternate text instructions or keywords in the search bar for more precise results.
  • Yet, for this, you should identify the words that could help you with more relevant sources.
  • Other than this, use commanding signs to specify the results, such as quotation marks (“), and acquire exact results.
  • Using these commands, the results will be restricted to those that match the keyword exactly.

d.    Use “Related Articles” for More Results

related articles - google scholar for students
  • If you find any publication closely relevant to your search, you can click the “related articles” link from the bottom to find new sources.
  • These results include other sources published by the same author with the same keywords.

5 Google Scholar Search Tips Every Student Must Know

Google Scholar is one of the most useful platforms for students. This search engine allows students to search a variety of publications in different areas and disciplines. Thus, here are some google scholar search tips to get an outstanding search experience.

1. Get Best Answers to your Search

Usually, when you search on google scholar, it produces a number of results, particularly with academic results including books, journals, articles, and other relevant papers. However, with a lot of google scholar search results, the user may get confused to get the best answer to their search.

Thus, by using the most relevant and technical terminologies, you would get the most out of google scholar. For instance, “myocardial infarction” instead of heart attack, and so on.

Not only this, but you can also click the “city by” button to access recent papers referenced as more specific to your search. However, for a more general search, click on the “references” button.

2. Access Citations Hassle-Freely

Moreover, as mentioned above on google scholar how to use, you can directly get the citations of a particular site. By clicking the “cite” option below the site title, you would get citations in multiple styles: APA, Harvard MLA, Chicago, etc. You can copy its citation in either style and paste it directly into your paper.

3. Identify More Influenced Article

When you search your keyword, there are multiple options given under the site’s links. One of them is the “cite by” option. It tells how many people have cited this page in their work. However, the higher the number, the more influenced the article would be.

4. Discover More Related Articles

If you find only one webpage that is closely relevant to your search. You would see the option of “related articles” underneath the link of that webpage. When you click on this button, you will find more articles by the same author that are also relevant to your search. This option is usually used to expand your search and get more results.

5. Set Date Range

When you search on google scholar, the results are ranked normally as in the standard Google search engine. However, if you want only recent articles, google scholar allows you to set the date range. For instance, if you are only looking for publications between 2018 to 2022, you can set the year and find the results between these years.

You can do this from the sidebar options. On the left side, click “custom range” under the given years and enter the starting and ending years. Click “search” and get desired results.

Versatile Advantages of Google Scholar for Students

Google Scholar offers multiple advantages to its users that allow them to use this online platform hassle-freely. Some of these benefits of google scholar for students are mentioned underneath:

  • Google scholar is absolutely free to search numerous publications including research papers, books, dissertations, and other papers.
  • It is extremely user-friendly. If you are familiar with a regular google search engine, google scholar works the same way.
  • It allows you to see publications that are relevant to your area of interest.
  • You would get citations of each article in a number of reference styles such as APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and so on.
  • You can download some of the articles in PDF form for free.
  • There are multiple features and options on google scholar that allow you to customize the search results.

Concluding Words

In this article, you learned about Google Scholar how to search, and some of its outstanding benefits. Google Scholar is one of the most trusted google academic platforms to search, read, and download online publications, books, and authentic papers on a number of areas. This free-of-cost online forum allows you to access journal articles along with their citations in different styles. Google scholar for students is considered the most appropriate platform to complete their research papers and insert references in different styles.

So, what are you waiting for? Complete your dissertation with the help of google scholar while preventing it from plagiarism.

Default image
Statham Beau

Statham is an educator, writer, and a content strategist. He is the senior content strategist and head at Scholarly Help holding a sum of 10 years of global experience. Statham helps firms and organizations of all sizes and expertise to build numerous pieces of content online. He also teaches at Strayer University, Virginia as a research expert, who instructs students to write slaying research papers, thesis, and dissertations.