Google Scholar is a free search engine that indexes scholarly literature from a wide variety of sources, formats, and disciplines. This index includes peer-reviewed academic materials, conference papers and proceedings, dissertations and theses, as well as court opinions and patents. This indexing also creates a series of links that can directly connect you to each work that was cited and can also connect you to works that have cited the article or theses you are looking at. This is known as citation chasing and is something that Google Scholar is exceptionally good at.
What's the difference between Google Scholar and an academic database like Ebsco or ProQuest?
Academic databases are searchable collections of published sources that let you know exactly what books, journals, conferences, etc...they are pulling their content from. In many databases, you can easily find a list of publications they are pulling citations from. That means you can tell if you'll be able to find articles from Nature in the database or not. Additionally, academic databases frequently have a subject specific focus and have many options for limiting search results.
Google scholar is also a searchable collection of published sources, but because Google keeps their proprietary information private, they do not share where they are pulling their content from. We don't know exactly where the citations are coming from, what will be included, or what might be missing. Additionally, Google Scholar covers all disciplines and only has a few advanced search options.
Google Scholar is good for...
Google Scholar cannot...
Keep in Mind:
Note: Google Scholar will likely produce more cited references than Scopus, but some of these may be duplicates. Google does not provide a complete list of all the publications it indexes, so it is difficult to know if Google Scholar provides comprehensive citation counts.
Performing Advanced Searches:
To perform an advanced search, first, click the menu button in the top-left corner (also called the hamburger button), and a drop-down menu will appear, then click "Advanced Search":
Clicking on Advanced Search will give you a number of options that will allow you to refine your search and make it more precise. You will have the option of searching by subject, author, or date of publication. You will also be able to search for articles that do not contain a particular term. This box will look like this:
Please see https://libguides.roosevelt.edu/PALResearchGuide/AdvancedSearching for more information about advanced searching.
Saving Searches and Finding Related Articles
Underneath each search result are a number of options you can use: