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NRS328 Research Skills Guide: Google Scholar

Introduction to Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a search engine for scholarly information. It's free and publicly available, but can be set up to show results that are held in Charles Sturt Library subscriptions (see below).

Google Scholar can be useful because:

  • it searches across many resources and returns many resource types, including journal articles and book chapters
  • it uses the familiar Google search functions

Things to keep in mind when searching in Google Scholar:

  • The results are not always from academic-quality sources;
  • It will show both results you do have access to via CSU Library, and those you do not;
  • It does not have the same sophisticated search functions as journal databases, and is not as good as Primo Search or the journal databases for limiting searches, or refining search results.

Setting up Google Scholar

Unlike Primo Search, which searches only Charles Sturt Library's holdings, Google Scholar searches everything. This means that Google Scholar will give you results that are not necessarily available in full-text. 

You can set up Google Scholar to show which results are available in full-text via Charles Sturt Library

  • Go to Library's Google Scholar webpage and follow the instructions to show Charles Sturt Library holdings. Or watch the video below. 

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.


Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.Acknowledgement of Country

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