Google Scholar: Pros & Cons

Google Scholar: Pros & Cons


At LMU, your professors expect you to use scholarly information for your research projects. All of the databases and search tools you can use to find scholarly sources have their pros and cons. Let’s look at the pros and cons for a Google Scholar. [Muisc] Google Scholar is a public website that
allows you to search using the familiar Google interface to find sources like scholarly articles, theses, books, abstracts, and court opinions, but not everything you find is peer-reviewed. Most other databases allow you to search or filter the results to show you only peer-reviewed sources, but Google Scholar does not. Google Scholar does allow you to search multiple formats, across multiple disciplines, generating thousands of results, even from resources the library doesn’t have, but all of these search results can be overwhelming. Google Scholar will recognize when you are on the LMU campus and give you direct access to article PDFs. If you are not on campus, you will need to link your LMU account with Google Scholar to access articles for free, but Google Scholar does not access everything in the library subscription databases especially the most current information. Google does give you information about the amount of times an article has been cited and can quickly find links to those articles. It also provides you citations in a variety of styles, but these citations are not always correct so please check them using the appropriate style guide. Also keywords that appear directly in the article title are ranked higher in the results so the number of times a keyword appears in the article itself does not matter. Overall, Google Scholar is best used for finding popular and recent articles on your subject, doing multidisciplinary research, and quickly finding the PDF version of articles when you already have the title or citation. Remember, Google Scholar is not the only way to find scholarly articles. LMU has hundreds of subject specific databases with better search and filtering options so make sure to use them too. [Music]

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