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NRS221 Research Skills Guide: Google Scholar

Using Google Scholar

Google Scholar allows you to locate resources such as articles, theses and books that you may be able to access through CSU Library's subscriptions and holdings. It is a useful search tool as it makes use of Google's sophisticated search algorithms, allows natural language searching, and locates related and citing articles.

It searches everything - unlike Primo Search which is set to search the Library's holdings only – so some resources will not be available to you.

Tip: Set your Google Scholar Library Links to access CSU Library's subscription resources using these instructions, or watch the adjacent Use Google Scholar video.  ""

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Search Google Scholar


Searching using Google Scholar

In Google searches, the default is to a keyword search so you don't need to put the AND operator between multiple search terms. If you want to search for a phrase, you should enclose it in double quotation marks.

If you want to search for alternative terms, you can combine these with the OR operator.

If you go to Google Scholar Advanced Search you get extra search functionality:

  • You can use the boxes to assist with searching using AND ("all of the words"), searching for a phrase, and searching using OR ("at least one of the words")
  • You can search for words occurring only in the title of an article, rather than anywhere in the article
  • You can search for, or limit a search by, author
  • You can search for, or limit a search by, journal title
  • You can search for, or limit a search by, date.


Setting up Google Scholar

Unlike Primo Search, which searches only CSU Library's holdings, Google Scholar searches everything. This means that Google Scholar will show you all results, whether you can access them through CSU Library or not.

How do I get Google Scholar to show me which results are available through CSU Library?

Activity - Google Scholar

In the adjacent Google Scholar window try searching for the keywords you used in Primo Search. Note: "" double quotation marks are used to search for a phrase, see the Search Strategies page for more information.

Notice the number of results you get? Probably well over 80 000? However these will not all be available to you through the Library's subscriptions and holdings.

Note: Remember to enable Library Links in your Google Scholar settings to show & access CSU Library holdings.

  • After you have enabled CSU Library in your Google Scholar Library Links settings look for the Find it at CSU links to the right of each resource's title – if they are present the Library has that item and you can use this link to access it via CSU Library's subscriptions and holdings.
  • You may also be able to access freely available resources via your Google Scholar search, to identify these look for & follow the location links that may appear to the right of each resources title. e.g [PDF]

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