Google Scholar

Search Scholar

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Search Tips

Get the most out of Google Scholar with some helpful tips on searches, email alerts, citation export, and more.

Finding recent papers

Your search results are normally sorted by relevance, not by date. To find newer articles, try the following options in the left sidebar:

  1. click "Since Year" to show only recently published papers, sorted by relevance;
  2. click "Sort by date" to show just the new additions, sorted by date;
  3. click the envelope icon to have new results periodically delivered by email.

Locating the full text of an article

Abstracts are freely available for most of the articles. Alas, reading the entire article may require a subscription. Here're a few things to try:

  1. click a library link, e.g., "FindIt@Harvard", to the right of the search result;
  2. click a link labeled [PDF] to the right of the search result;
  3. click "All versions" under the search result and check out the alternative sources;
  4. click "Related articles" or "Cited by" under the search result to explore similar articles.

If you're affiliated with a university, but don't see links such as "FindIt@Harvard", please check with your local library about the best way to access their online subscriptions. You may need to do search from a computer on campus, or to configure your browser to use a library proxy.

Getting better answers

  • If you're new to the subject, it may be helpful to pick up the terminology from secondary sources. E.g., a Wikipedia article for "overweight" might suggest a Scholar search for "pediatric hyperalimentation".

  • If the search results are too specific for your needs, check out what they're citing in their "References" sections. Referenced works are often more general in nature.

  • Similarly, if the search results are too basic for you, click "Cited by" to see newer papers that referenced them. These newer papers will often be more specific.

  • Explore! There's rarely a single answer to a research question. Click "Related articles" or "Cited by" to see closely related work, or search for author's name and see what else they have written.

Searching Google Scholar

How do I search by author?

Use the "author:" operator, e.g., author:"d knuth" or author:"donald e knuth".

How do I search by title?

Put the paper's title in quotations: "A History of the China Sea".

How do I sort by date?

You'll often get better results if you search only recent articles, but still sort them by relevance, not by date. E.g., click "Since 2012" in the left sidebar of the search results page.

To see the absolutely newest articles first, click "Sort by date" in the sidebar. If you use this feature a lot, you may also find it useful to setup email alerts to have new results automatically sent to you.

Note: On smaller screens that don't show the sidebar, these options are available in the dropdown menu labelled "Any time" right below the search button.

How do I search for court opinions?

Select the "Legal documents" option on the homepage or in the sidebar on the search results page.

What does the "Related articles" link do?

It finds documents similar to the given search result.

Where is advanced search?

Click on the arrow to the right of the search box. It'll bring up the advanced search window that lets you search in the author, title, and publication fields, as well as limit your search results by date.

How do I search by specific jurisdictions?

Select the "Legal documents" option and do a keyword search over all jurisdictions. Then, click the "Select courts" button in the left sidebar on the search results page.

Tip: To quickly search a frequently used selection of courts, bookmark a search results page with the desired selection.

Email Alerts

How do I sign up for email alerts?

Do a search for the topic of interest, e.g., "M Theory"; click the envelope icon in the sidebar of the search results page; enter your email address, and click "Create alert". We'll then periodically email you newly published papers that match your search criteria.

Do I need a Google account to receive email alerts?

No, you can enter any email address of your choice. If the email address isn't a Google account or doesn't match your Google account, then we'll email you a verification link, which you'll need to click in order to start receiving alerts.

How do I get notified when my papers are cited?

This works best if you create a public Citations profile, which is free and quick to do. Once you get to the homepage with your photo, click "Follow new citations" in the right sidebar below the search box. We will then email you when we find new articles that cite yours.

How do I get notified when a particular paper is cited?

Search for the title of your paper, e.g., "Anti de Sitter space and holography"; click on the "Cited by" link at the bottom of the search result; and then click on the envelope icon in the left sidebar of the search results page.

How do I get notified of new papers published by my competitors, err, respected colleagues?

First, do a search for your colleague's name, and see if they have a Citations profile. If they do, click on it, and click the "Follow new articles" link in the right sidebar under the search box.

If they don't have a profile, do a search by author, e.g., [author:s-hawking], and click on the mighty envelope in the left sidebar of the search results page. If you find that several different people share the same name, you may need to add co-author names or topical keywords to limit results to the author you wish to follow.

How often do you send the alerts?

We send the alerts right after we add new papers to Google Scholar. This usually happens several times a week, except that our search robots meticulously observe holidays.

How do I unsubscribe?

There's a link to cancel the alert at the bottom of every notification email.

How do I change my alerts?

If you created alerts using a Google account, you can manage them all here. If you're not using a Google account, you'll need to unsubscribe from the individual alerts and subscribe to the new ones.

Google Scholar library

Google Scholar library is your personal collection of articles. You can save articles right off the search page, organize them by topic, and use the power of Scholar search to quickly find just the one you want - at any time and from anywhere. You decide what goes into your library, and we’ll keep the links up to date.

You get all the goodies that come with Scholar search results - citing articles, related articles, formatted citations, links to your university’s subscriptions, and more. Best of all, it’s easy to quickly fill up your library with the articles you want - with a single click, you can import all the articles in your public Scholar profile as well as all the articles they cite.

Set up your library

 

Library help

How do I add an article to my library?

Find the article you want to add in Google Scholar and click the “Save” link under the search result.

Can you just build my library for me?

We can help. If you have a public Scholar profile, you can quickly import the articles that your publications have cited. Click on “Cited by me” in the left column of your library page to get started.

How do I find an article in my library?

Click “My library” at the top of the Scholar homepage or in the left column of a search results page to view all articles in your library. To search the full text of these articles, enter your query as usual in the search box.

How do I remove an article from my library?

Find the article you want to remove, click on its title, and then click the “Delete” button at the top of the page.

My library is too big! Can I organize it?

You can use labels (for example: “artificial intelligence”) to categorize your articles.

  • To add a label to an article, find the article in your library, click on its title, open the “Labels” dropdown at the top of the page, and select the label you want to apply.
  • To view all the articles with a specific label, click the label name in the left column of your library page.
  • To remove a label from an article, click on its title, open the “Labels” dropdown at the top of the page, and select the label you want to remove.
  • To add, edit, or delete labels, click “Manage labels” in the left column of your library page.

Who can see the articles in my library?

Only you can see the articles in your library. If you create a Scholar profile and make it public, then the articles in your public profile (and only those articles) will be visible to everyone.

How is my library related to my Scholar profile?

Your profile contains all the articles you have written yourself. It’s a way to present your work to others, as well as to keep track of citations to it.
Your library is a way to organize the articles that you’d like to read or cite, not just the ones you’ve written. Your library automatically includes all the articles in your profile; they appear under the “My Citations” label.

How does the “Cited by me” label work? How do you know what I’ve cited?

The articles labelled “Cited by me” are automatically extracted from the bibliography sections of the papers in your public Scholar profile. Note that this automated system may not be able to include citations from papers where the full text isn’t available to our crawlers, or the references aren’t formatted according to our technical guidelines.

Help! I just removed the “My Citations” label from an article and it disappeared from my Scholar profile. How do I add it back?

Find the article in your library, click on its title, open the “Labels” dropdown at the top of the page, and select “My Citations”. Presto! It will be back in your profile.

Citation Export

How can I add the full citation of a result on Google Scholar to my bibliography manager?

Visit the settings page and select your preferred citation format in the "Bibliography Manager" section. We currently support RefWorks, RefMan, EndNote, and BibTeX. Once you've saved your settings, we will add an import link to each search result. Click on the link for the result you would like to save.

I wrote a program to download lots of search results, but you blocked my computer from accessing Google Scholar. Can you raise the limit?

Err, no, please respect our robots.txt when you access Google Scholar using automated software. As the wearers of crawler's shoes and webmaster's hat, we cannot recommend adherence to web standards highly enough.

How do I get bulk access to records in Google Scholar?

Sorry, we're unable to provide bulk access. You'll need to make an arrangement directly with the source of the data you're interested in. Keep in mind that a lot of the records in Google Scholar come from commercial subscription services.

Can I see more than 1,000 search results?

Sorry, we can only show up to 1,000 results for any particular search query. Try a different query to get more results.

Content Converage

What do you include in Google Scholar?

Google Scholar includes journal and conference papers, theses and dissertations, academic books, pre-prints, abstracts, technical reports and other scholarly literature from all broad areas of research. You'll find works from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies and university repositories, as well as scholarly articles available anywhere across the web. Google Scholar also includes court opinions and patents.

Do you cover Pubmed? JSTOR? Elsevier?

We index research articles and abstracts from most major academic publishers and repositories worldwide, including both free and subscription sources. To check current coverage of a specific source in Google Scholar, search for a sample of their article titles in quotes.

While we try to be comprehensive, it isn't possible to guarantee uninterrupted coverage of any particular source. We index articles from sources all over the web and link to these websites in our search results. If one of these websites becomes unavailable to our search robots or to a large number of web users, we have to remove it from Google Scholar until it becomes available again.

How complete is your coverage?

Our meticulous search robots generally try to index every paper from every website they visit, including most major sources and also many lesser known ones.

That said, Google Scholar is primarily a search of academic papers. Shorter articles, such as book reviews, news sections, editorials, announcements and letters, may or may not be included. Untitled documents and documents without authors are usually not included. Website URLs that aren't available to our search robots or to the majority of web users are, obviously, not included either. Nor do we include websites that require you to sign up for an account, install a browser plugin, watch four colorful ads, and turn around three times and say coo-coo before you can read the listing of titles scanned at 10 DPI... You get the idea, we cover academic papers from sensible websites.

How come a search for [site:example.gov] returns far fewer results than I expect?

That's usually because we index many of these papers from other websites, such as the websites of their primary publishers. The "site:" operator currently only searches the primary version of each paper.

It could also be that the papers are located on examplejournals.gov, not on example.gov. Please make sure you're searching for the "right" website.

That said, the best way to check coverage of a specific source is to search for a sample of their papers using the title of the paper.

Which specific journals do you cover?

Ahem, we index papers, not journals. You should also ask about our coverage of universities, research groups, proteins, seminal breakthroughs, and other dimensions that are of interest to users. All such questions are best answered by searching for a statistical sample of papers that has the property of interest - journal, author, protein, etc. Many coverage comparisons are available if you search for [allintitle:"google scholar"], but some of them are more statistically valid than others.

Which court opinions do you include?

Currently, Google Scholar allows you to search and read published opinions of US state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791. In addition, it includes citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles which allows you to find influential cases (usually older or international) which are not yet online or publicly available.

Legal opinions in Google Scholar are provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed lawyer. Google does not warrant that the information is complete or accurate.

How frequently do you update Google Scholar?

We normally add new papers several times a week. However, updates to existing records take 6-9 months to a year or longer, because in order to update our records, we need to first recrawl them from the source website. For many larger websites, the speed at which we can update their records is limited by the crawl rate that they allow.

Inclusion and Corrections

The description of my article is wrong and I am appropriately irritated. How do I correct it?

We apologize, and we assure you the error was unintentional. Automated extraction of information from articles in diverse fields can be tricky, so an error sometimes sneaks through.

Please write to the owner of the website where the erroneous search result is coming from, and encourage them to provide correct bibliographic data to us, as described in the technical guidelines. Once the data is corrected on their website, it usually takes 6-9 months to a year or longer for it to be updated in Google Scholar. We appreciate your help and your patience.

How do I add my papers to Google Scholar?

If you can't find your papers when you search for them by title and by author, please refer your publisher to our technical guidelines.

You can also deposit your papers into your institutional repository or put their PDF versions on your personal website, but please follow your publisher's requirements when you do so. See our technical guidelines for more details on the inclusion process.

We normally add new papers several times a week; however, it might take us some time to crawl larger websites, and corrections to already included papers can take 6-9 months to a year or longer.

My citation counts have gone down. Help!

Google Scholar generally reflects the state of the web as it is currently visible to our search robots and to the majority of users. When you're searching for relevant papers to read, you wouldn't want it any other way!

If your citation counts have gone down, chances are that either your paper or papers that cite it have either disappeared from the web entirely, or have become unavailable to our search robots, or, perhaps, have been reformatted in a way that made it difficult for our automated software to identify their bibliographic data and references. If you wish to correct this, you'll need to identify the specific documents with indexing problems and ask your publisher to fix them. Please refer to the technical guidelines.

I have noticed an error in a court opinion you are providing. What I can do to help fix it?

Please do let us know. Please include the URL for the opinion, the corrected information and a source where we can verify the correction.

We're only able to make corrections to court opinions that are hosted on our own website. For corrections to academic papers, books, dissertations and other third-party material, click on the search result in question and contact the owner of the website where the document came from. For corrections to books from Google Book Search, click on the book's title and locate the link to provide feedback at the bottom of the book's page.

General Questions

What are the results marked [citation] and why can't I click on them?

These are articles which other scholarly articles have referred to, but which we haven't found online. To exclude them from your search results, uncheck the "include citations" box on the left sidebar.

I just found a promising abstract in the Journal of Prosimian Dialectical Reasoning! Can I read the full text of the article for free?

Maybe.

First, click on links labeled [PDF] or [HTML] to the right of the search result's title. Also, check out the "All versions" link at the bottom of the search result.

Second, if you're affiliated with a university, using a computer on campus will often let you access your library's online subscriptions. Look for links labeled with your library's name to the right of the search result's title. Also, see if there's a link to the full text on the publisher's page with the abstract.

Keep in mind that final published versions are often only available to subscribers, and that some articles are not available online at all. Good luck!

How come you're forgetting my settings?

Technically, your web browser remembers your settings in a "cookie" on your computer's disk, and sends this cookie to our website along with every search. Check that your browser isn't configured to discard our cookies. Also, check if disabling various proxies or overly helpful privacy settings does the trick. Either way, your settings are stored on your computer, not on our servers, so a long hard look at your browser's preferences or internet options should help cure the machine's forgetfulness.

Why are you asking us to "Stand on the shoulders of giants"? Are you really giants?

Not even close. That phrase is our acknowledgement that much of scholarly research involves building on what others have already discovered. It's taken from Sir Isaac Newton's famous quote, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."