HomeGoogle Scholar Website18 Guidelines for Using Google Scholar for students

18 Guidelines for Using Google Scholar for students

18 Guidelines for Using Google Scholar for students – Google Scholar is a powerful tool that provides access to a vast collection of scholarly resources, including research papers, legal cases, and other academic publications. Whether you’re a student, researcher, or simply someone seeking reliable information, Google Scholar can help you find the resources you need. In this article, we will explore 18 essential tips that will enhance your experience with Google Scholar. From citation styles to advanced search techniques, we’ve got you covered.

18 Guidelines for Using Google Scholar for students

1. Copy Citations in Your Preferred Style

When referencing an article, it’s important to cite it correctly. Google Scholar makes this process easier by providing ready-to-use citations in various styles. Simply click on the “cite” button below an article entry, and you’ll be presented with a citation in your preferred style, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago. This feature saves you time and ensures accurate citations.

2. Dig Deeper with Related Searches

Google Scholar’s related searches feature allows you to explore specific topics within your research area. For example, if you’re researching cancer, you can follow up with related searches like “lung cancer” or “colon cancer” to find more targeted results. Related searches help you narrow down your focus and discover relevant resources.

3. Discover Related Articles

In addition to related searches, Google Scholar also provides a list of related articles below each entry. This feature allows you to find papers that are similar to the one you initially found helpful. By exploring related articles, you can expand your knowledge on a specific topic and uncover new perspectives.

4. Access Full-Text Articles

Traditionally, accessing scholarly articles required a subscription. However, Google Scholar has collaborated with libraries and publishers worldwide to integrate their subscriptions directly into its search results. Look for links marked “[PDF]” or “[HTML]” to access full-text articles. This includes preprints and other free-to-read versions of papers, ensuring that valuable knowledge is accessible to everyone.

5. Install the Scholar Button Browser Extension

To access Google Scholar tools from anywhere on the web, consider installing the Scholar Button browser extension. This extension acts as a mini version of Scholar, allowing you to search for studies related to a specific topic. Additionally, while reading a study, you can utilize the extension to find related research, create citations, or save articles to your Scholar library. Install the Scholar Button Chrome browser extension for seamless access to Google Scholar.

6. Explore Author Profiles

When conducting research, it’s often beneficial to learn more about the authors behind the papers. By clicking on an author’s name in the search results, you can access their Scholar profile. These profiles provide a comprehensive overview of an author’s work, including co-authors, articles they’re cited in, and more. You can even follow authors to receive email updates about their latest work and citations.

7. Discover Topic Experts

Author profiles offer a unique feature that allows you to identify topic experts. If an author’s profile lists specific areas of expertise, you can click on these topics to discover more authors who are researching and publishing in the same field. This feature helps you find experts in your area of interest and expand your network of scholarly connections.

8. Search for Court Opinions

Google Scholar is home to the largest free database of U.S. court opinions. If you’re researching a legal topic, you can utilize the “Case law” button below the search box to find relevant court opinions that reference your keywords. This feature provides valuable insights into legal cases and their implications.

9. Explore Cited Court Opinions

Understanding the impact of a particular court case is crucial for legal research. By selecting the “How Cited” option below an entry, you can see how and where a court opinion has been cited. This feature helps you trace the influence of a specific case and gain a deeper understanding of its significance.

10. Analyze the Dependency of Legal Opinions

When examining how court opinions are cited within Google Scholar, pay attention to the “Cited by” section. The horizontal bars displayed next to each result indicate the extent to which a new opinion depends on and refers to the cited case. More bars signify a stronger reliance, while fewer bars indicate less influence. This information provides valuable context for understanding the interconnectedness of legal opinions.

11. Set Up Google Scholar Alerts

To stay up to date with the latest research in your field, create Google Scholar alerts for specific topics. Similar to Google Search alerts, these alerts will notify you via email whenever new articles related to your chosen topics are published. Additionally, you can follow leading researchers to receive updates about their work. This feature ensures that you stay informed about the latest developments in your areas of interest.

12. Organize Your Library

As you explore articles on Google Scholar, it’s easy to accumulate a substantial collection of resources. To keep your research organized, take advantage of the labeling feature. Within your Google Scholar library, you can create labels to categorize your articles. This makes it easier to find specific resources when you need them.

13. Access Free-to-Read Articles

Many research funding agencies now require that funded articles become publicly accessible within a year of publication. Scholar profiles highlight articles that will soon be freely available. By following researchers and their work, you can keep track of the accessibility of their papers. This feature ensures that you can access valuable research without encountering paywalls.

14. Explore Top Publications and Papers

Google Scholar releases an annual list of top publications based on the most-cited papers. This list provides insight into the most influential research in various fields. By exploring these top publications, you can gain a better understanding of the current trends and discoveries in your area of interest. The “h index” is also considered, which measures the impact of an article.

15. Utilize Advanced Search Options

Google Scholar offers an advanced search feature that allows you to fine-tune your queries. By clicking on the hamburger icon in the upper left-hand corner and selecting “Advanced Search,” you can specify search criteria such as exact words or phrases in the title, articles from specific journals, and more. This feature enables you to conduct highly targeted searches and retrieve precise results.

16. Find Help on the Google Scholar Help Page

If you encounter any difficulties or have questions about using Google Scholar, the Google Scholar Help page is a valuable resource. It provides useful information on various topics, including how often the database is updated, tips on formatting searches, and instructions for accessing library subscriptions off-campus. Additionally, you can learn the origin of the famous quote displayed on Google Scholar’s home page.

17. Stay Updated with Google Scholar Blog

To stay informed about new features, updates, and tips for using Google Scholar, don’t forget to check out the Google Scholar blog. This blog provides valuable insights and announcements, ensuring that you make the most of this powerful research tool.


Google Scholar is a treasure trove of scholarly resources waiting to be explored. By implementing these 18 essential tips, you can enhance your research capabilities, save time, and discover valuable insights. Whether you’re a student, researcher, or lifelong learner, Google Scholar is an invaluable tool that will accompany you on your academic journey. Start using these tips today and unlock the full potential of Google Scholar.

Remember, knowledge is power, and Google Scholar is your gateway to endless knowledge. Happy researching!

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