Rensselaer Libraries

Google Scholar FAQ

Posted: Feb 20, 2013

Google Scholar logo

What is Google Scholar?
What areas of scholarly research are covered by Google Scholar?
What are the benefits of setting the Google Scholar preferences for Library Links to RPI?
How do I set the preferences for Library Links to RPI?
What does 'Cited by' mean?
Can I search within a specific journal or search for articles written by a particular author?
Why do some titles have links to abstracts and/or full text and others do not?
Why am I being asked to pay to access a full text article?
I'm not finding the information I need. Where else can I search for online full-text documents?
Where can I get more help?



Keep in mind that not everything can be found through Google Scholar! Databases found on the Article Databases and Subject Resources pages will let you search scholarly information with specialized search tools designed to help you retrieve exactly what you need.



Google Scholar Citation

What does 'Cited by' mean? [top]
Clicking the 'Cited by' link will display a list of articles and documents that have cited the document originally retrieved in the search. This makes it possible to uncover other documents related by topic or subject to the original document. However, Google Scholar only includes articles that are indexed within its database, and this is a much smaller subset of scholarly articles than found in some other Rensselaer-subscribed databases. Some databases that include citation-based searching, and that may yield more comprehensive results, include:

To find items cited in the bibliographies of books, try Google Book Search. This tool lets you find your search term in the full text of books, but it will not let you view entire books online unless the book is out of copyright. It will show you a few pages surrounding your search hits and link you to an online bookstore. Check the Rensselaer Libraries' catalog to see if Rensselaer owns a copy of a book you find in Google Book Search.


Can I search within a specific journal or search for articles written by a particular author? [top]
Yes! Click on the small triangle in the search box to search by author, publication, and date. Increase the accuracy and effectiveness of Google Scholar searches by checking out Google Scholar Search Tips.


Why do some titles have links to abstracts and/or full text and others do not? [top]
Search results may include citations [CITATION], books [BOOK], PDFs [PDF] and PostScript documents [PS]. PDF and PostScript documents will have clickable title links that point to abstracts or full text, but citations and books will not. Google Scholar citation Citations are items that have been extracted from the references, footnotes or bibliographies of documents indexed by Google Scholar. They typically do not have clickable links, but the citation usually gives you enough information to track down the item if you want to read it. Searching the title using the standard Google search engine can sometimes help you determine the title of the book or journal the article was published in if it is abbreviated in the citation.

You can use the Rensselaer Libraries' catalog (for books and journals) or e-journals list (for online journals only) to see if Rensselaer has access to the item being cited. For more hints on tracking down a copy of the journal with the article you want, see the Find Articles, Journals, and Newspapers page, or Ask-A-Librarian.

Google Scholar book
Books appear in search results when a document indexed by Google Scholar references a book. Google Scholar creates a book result, but doesn't link to the actual book.
You can see if Rensselaer owns the book by searching the Rensselaer Libraries' catalog. If Rensselaer does not own the book, we can still get it for you! See "Request it" on the Find Books page.


Why am I being asked to pay to access a full-text article? [top]
Some of the links in Google Scholar will lead to full-text documents located at publishers' pay-per-view web sites. Rensselaer students, faculty and staff do not need to pay for access to many of these items. If you have set your Library Links preference to Rensselaer, the "Get it @ RPI" link will appear next to the title of most articles that Rensselaer pays for access to. For some articles, the "Get it @ RPI" link will appear at the bottom of the record for the article. This typically means that online access is not available, but you can use the "Get it @ RPI" link to see if the library has the article in print or to initiate an interlibrary loan request.


I'm not finding the information I need. Where else can I search for online full-text documents? [top]
See a complete list of Rensselaer's databases or limit by subject at the Article Databases page. Listed below are some popular databases that offer complete articles (requires Rensselaer authentication):


Where can I get more help? [top]
Having difficulty finding what you need? There are many ways for you to get help!


Adapted with kind permission from http://library.nevada.edu/help/googlescholar.html.

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