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Google Scholar Guide

Basic searching

Google Scholar allows you easily to search for articles and other academic publications, patents, and case laws.

Searching for articles

Google Scholar offers an intuitive interface. It has a single search box where you can type search terms relevant to your topic. "Articles" is the default filter, so the results will include academic publications. Next to this, is the "Case law" filter. You can use this option if you are seeking for legal information in the United States.

Image showing the Google Scholar limiter for articles

Filtering results

Once you perform a search, you get a results screen in less than 3 seconds. If the number of results is overwhelming, you may want to use the filters that appear on the left-hand side of the screen. These filters are the following:

  • Any time: Default filter that shows all results regardless of when they have been published.
  • Since year: Allows you to limit results published a specific year.
  • Custom range: Allows you to limit results published within a specific date range.
  • Sort by relevance: Default filter used in conjunction with the "Any time" filter. Sorts results by how relevant they are. You can use it in conjunction with any other date limiters.
  • Sort by date: Allows you to limit results to publications that have been added the last year.
  • Review articles: Allows you to limit results to articles that include an overview of current knowledge, identifying relevant theories, methods, and gaps in the existing research.

Image showing the date and relevance limiters in Google Scholar

Expanding results with article features

Each article that appears on the results list has some features that could lead you to find more relevant resources on your topic. These features are: 

  • Cited by: Lists the articles which are citing the specific article. This allows you to find more relevant articles.
  • Related articles: Allows you to retrieve thematically similar articles.
  • All versions: Allows you to view alternative locations, from where you can find the information source. This helps you identify publishers, organizations, and/or institutions that provide relevant research for your topic.

Image showing expanding seach options in Google Scholar

Searching for patents

Google Scholar provides the option to search for patent related literature. To do so, perform a search for the patent that you want to find and check the "include patents" box on the left-hand side of the screen. This reveals the available patent from the Google patent database.

Image showing the patent limiter in Google Scholar

For better patent related results, you may search directly at the Google Patents website.