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Google Scholar Guide

Advanced searching

Google Scholar provides several advanced searching options. These options may include the use of:

  • the Advanced search features.
  • boolean and proximity operators.
  • words as search operators.
  • symbols as search operators.

The Advanced search features

Click the hamburger icon ( ) on the left-hand corner. This reveals a menu from which you could choose the Advanced search.

Once you select the Advanced search, a pop-up window with the available advanced search options appears.

You may use the following options:

  • Find articles with all of the terms: Default search option. | Combines search terms. | Retrieves articles that include all search terms. | Narrows down search results.
  • Find articles with the exact phrase: Retrieves articles which include the search terms when they appear together, as an exact phrase. | Narrows down search results.
  • Find articles with at least one of the words: Retrieves articles which include either or all search terms. | Expands search results.
  • Find articles without the words: Excludes search terms. | Narrows down search results.

You can specify where the words you are searching may appear, by using any of the following options:

  • anywhere in the article: Default search option. | Returns articles which include the search terms in any part of the article; title or body. | Works in conjunction with any of the "Find articles" options.
  • in the title of the article: Returns articles which include the search terms only in the title of the article. |  Works in conjunction with any of the "Find articles" options. 

There are three additional search options to use:

  • Return articles authored by: Returns articles written by a particular author | Works in conjunction with any of the "Find articles" or "Return articles" options. | Narrows down search results.
  • Return articles published in: Returns articles published in a particular periodical publication. | Works in conjunction with any of the "Find articles" or "Return articles" options. | Narrows down search results.
  • Return articles dated between: Returns articles published in a particular date range. | Works in conjunction with any of the "Find articles" or "Return articles" options. | Narrows down search results.

Boolean operators

This type of search uses operators that help you narrow or broaden your search. The most common operators are AND, OR, NOT. Check the table below to see when and how to use them in Google Scholar.

 Boolean & Proximity Operators
in Google Scholar

 Example & Syntax  Tips

AND

Finds both terms included in a search query, so it narrows down search results.

 

library AND anxiety

 

  Good practice when you want to combine more than one search terms. It needs to be in capital letters.

OR

Finds one or either terms included in a search query, so it expands search results.

 

library (anxiety OR fear)

 

  Good practice when there is more than one commonly used set of keywords that describe a topic. It needs to be in capital letters.

NOT

Finds the first term included in a query but not the second, so it narrows down search results.

 

library anxiety -graduate

 

  Good practice when not useful words pop up in your results. Do not spell out the word NOT use the minus symbol or a hyphen (-) instead. Do not add a space after the hyphen. The search term you wish to exclude should appear immediately after it.

AROUND

Allows to search by proximity of words, so it narrows down search results.

 

library anxiety AROUND (5) graduate

 

  It should be written in capital letters. You can add spaces between the first search term(s), AROUND, the parenthesis with the number that indicates how close the next search term should appear in the results and the second search term(s).

Words as search operators

Google Scholar supports the use of words as search operators. These words are:

  • intitle: Results include a specific search term in the title of the article.| Syntax: intitle:search term
      Tip! Do not add a space after the colon.
  • intext: Results include a specific search term in the body of the article.| Syntax: intext:search term
      Tip! Do not add a space after the colon.
  • author: Results include articles written by a specific author.| Syntax: author:"first name last name"
      Tip! Do not add a space after the colon. Place quotation marks around the author's name.
  • source: Results include articles published in a particular journal.| Syntax: source:"journal title"
      Tip! Do not add a space after the colon. Place quotation marks around the journal title.
  • ininventor: Results include patent related documents including the name of a patent inventor.
    Syntax: ininventor:"first name last name"
      Tip! Do not add a space after the colon. Place quotation marks around the inventor's name.
  • assignee: Results include patent related documents including the entity that is granted the ownership of the patent.| Syntax: assignee:"entity name"
      Tip! Do not add a space after the colon. Place quotation marks around the entity name.

 

Symbols as search operators

Google Scholar supports the use of symbols as search operators. These symbols are:

  • Quotation marks (" "): Results include the search terms when they appear as a phrase.
    Syntax: "search term A search term B"
  • Hyphen): You can use the hyphen to indicate that words are strongly connected.
    Syntax: search term A-search term B |  Tip! Do not add spaces before and after the hyphen.
  • Hyphen ): You can use the hyphen to exclude words from a search query.
    Syntax: search term A -search term B |  Tip! Add a space after the first search terms, but do not add a space between the hyphen and the search term you want to exclude.