Google Scholar is among the best scholarly search engines online yet only a few select of educators know its secrets.As a rule of thumb that applies to all Google products, the effective use of any service from Google s can only be achieved through mastering its deep and hidden features. We have seen in the previous post how filtering a Google search using the keyword ” digital literacy ” reduced the generated results from 430.000.000 to 90.000.000 which eliminated so much of junk information that could cost you a lot of time going through it. I believe information literacy is a skill that every teacher should master and teach his/her students about. In this regard and to help teachers leverage the potential of Google services in their teaching , Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has recently started out a series of illustrative guides that addresse those particular things that educators need to know in order to better manipulate their ” Googling” experience. Here are the guides I have published so far :
Today, I will be walking you step by step through those important features that Google Scholar provides to its users. I am very much hoping that you would share it with your students and help them conduct better searches in Google Scholar.
1- Use Keywords
The first thing you do when you type in your search query is to click on that little icon in the search pane and refine your key words just as you would do with in Google search.
2- Look for articles by author
If you have a specific author in mind or you want only papers written by your favorite author then you can type in his/her name and hit search.
3- Refine your search by publication name and date
Using Google Scholar advanced search, you will be able to specify the name of publication you want to search and you can also choose the date range of your search results. You can for instance, choose a date range between 2008-2009 and Google Scholar will only return scholarly papers published during this time frame.
4- Legal Documents
If you are looking for legal documents them make sure you check the box as in the screenshot below
5- Manage your Bibliography
If you are managing your links and citations in another platform like ” EndNote, RefWorks, RefMan, or BiTex, then make sure you enable this feature. To do so you need to click on setting icon on the upper right hand corner, scroll down to Bibliography Manager and tick the box as shown in the screenshot.
6- Enable Library access
If you have access to your campus library then you can add it to Google Scholar so that each time you look for papers , Google Scholar will provide you with links available from your library database. For instance, I connected my university library and whenever Google Scholar finds a link from my library relevant to my query it displays it in the search results. Why connecting your library ? For me personally it saves me a fortune because most of the papers I find are paid for but accessing them from my library I can read and download them for free.
7- Create Alert
Google Scholar allows its users to keep track of the latest releases and publications in their field of interest by simply creating an alert. To do so, in Google Scholar homepage look up and you will see a tab labelled ” Alerts “, click on it , type in your alert query, provide your email and you are good to go. Now each time a scholarly paper is published online and falls under that alert query you created , Google Scholar will send it to your inbox.
8- Use Metrics
Google Scholar Metrics provide an easy way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Scholar Metrics summarize recent citations to many publications, to help authors as they consider where to publish their new research. This service allows you to see which articles in a publication were cited the most and who cited them,click on its h-index number to view the articles as well as the citations underlying the metrics.
You can also explore publications in research areas of your interest. To browse publications in a broad area of research, select one of the areas in the left column.To explore specific research areas, select one of the broad areas, click on the “Subcategories” link and then select one of the options
9- My Citation
If you are a publisher and want to check the metrics of your Google Scholar Citations provide a simple way for authors to keep track of citations to their articles. You can check who is citing your publications, graph citations over time, and compute several citation metrics. You can also make your profile public, so that it may appear in Google Scholar results when people search for your name
Google Scholar also has an “alert” feature that allows users to keep updated about the topics, news, and authors that interest them. Google scholar Alert is particularly useful for student researchers who are doing research around a topic area and want to have access to the latest and recent output about it. Creating an alert on Google Scholar will enable you to receive emails with updates and new releases about your alert. For instance, let’s say your research topic is game-based learning and that one of the established authors you want to make sure to read his newest updates in this area is James Paul Gee. You can go ahead and create two alerts using the following key phrases : game-based learning, and James Paul Gee. From the time you create these alerts, anything published on Google Scholar with these two phrases in it will come directly to your inbox.