Google Scholar works just like regular Google, but should only return scholarly resources. It searches a little differently than most library databases, and can be leveraged with other search techniques to find resources that don't fit neatly into a single subject or that don't necessarily rise to the top of a search in other tools.
Because most of the material returned by a Google Scholar search is published in journals that require subscriptions, full text is not included by default on most results, but with a few quick steps, you can connect the search engine to George Fox Libraries to access resources in our collections or to connect with our Interlibrary Loan services for easy requests.
Start by opening Google Scholar (scholar.google.com) and selecting the menu in the upper left (three horizontal lines on top of each other):
Select "Settings" from the bottom of the menu list:
In the side navigation on the upper left, select "Library links":
In the search for George Fox University on the Library Links page:
Make sure that the check box next to George Fox University is ticked:
You are ready to search! Notice the Find it at George Fox U links next to results:
For results that don't have a Find It link, like the book result at the top of the example results, select the double arrow to search WorldCat (Library Search) or the GFU Library catalog (Find it) for the title:
1) Unlike traditional library databases, Google Scholar is not searching through a curated collection of resources - it's searching the open web and applying an algorithm to determine what is scholarly or not. Although Scholar is believed to only search scholarly parts of the web, and the Google algorithm is the magic juice that powers much of the modern internet, it is wise to carefully consider your sources when using this tool.
2) Google Scholar does not use Boolean Search logic (ex. anti-racism AND education). Instead, you can search with general keywords (ex. anti-racism education). Scholar is also less specific than most traditional databases at recognizing related terms. Where a database is only looking for the term "education", Scholar might also pick up results that include "teaching", "educators", and "schools". This can be helpful, but it can also muddy your results.
3) Because of the way Scholar returns results and connects with library systems, you may see duplication of results, partial citations, and an occasional broken link. Make sure to check your citations carefully, and don't give up if the built in connectors don't lead you to full text. You can always search for article or book titles in Primo or contact the library for help in finding full text.
4) Google Scholar offers a cited by function that will allow you to see results that list a given article or book in their citations. This can be a great way to find and follow the scholarly conversation or to find more recent work in the same field.
5) Google Scholar is part of the larger Google system - keep in mind that it may be tracking your search history and other online data. This may not be an issue for many researchers, but it's good to know where your information is captured.