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University of Texas at San Antonio UTSA Google Scholar Research

University of Texas at San Antonio UTSA Google Scholar Research – Google Books allows you to search the full text of books. In most cases, the entire book is not available online, but Google Books will display brief previews of books on your topic which you can then locate at the UTSA Libraries using Library Quick Search, or purchase from an online seller (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.). Keep in mind that Google Books is not completely comprehensive and does not contain all books.

Google Scholar

Search Google Scholar for peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, patents, and court opinions from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and websites. While there is overlap between Google Scholar, Library Quick Search, and individual library databases, it’s helpful to have a variety of research tools in your arsenal. Google Scholar searches many online journals, but is not exhaustive therefore many articles available in the UTSA Libraries’ online databases will not appear in Google Scholar results. By the same token, you may find sources in Google Scholar that aren’t available through the UTSA Libraries. Google Scholar can be a useful tool for research as long as you know when to use it and how to link your UTSA account.

Google vs. Google Books vs. Google Scholar



Google is a basic search engine designed to search the entire World Wide Web. While it is a fine resource to find quick answers and basic information, it is not a good source to use for academic research. The results provided by Google are subject to many external factors that are not ethically regulated such as paid promotion, Google bombing/washing, popular opinion, and many others. For this reason, Google should only be used in class/research for basic information like checking spelling and getting a quick overview of a topic before searching for scholarly sources.

For more information about advanced searching in standard Google, please see our Advanced Google Search Research Guide.

Google Scholar for Academic Research

Should I use Google Scholar for academic/scientific research?

Google Scholar is a powerful tool that yields broad and comprehensive search results for many topics but also has limitations. Keep in mind that whether you choose to employ Google Scholar in your research or not, you should never rely solely on one information resource for all of your research. You can always browse the UTSA Libraries databases to find databases that fit your area.

Google Scholar Pros

  • Broad and comprehensive search results for most topics
  • Interdisciplinary results
  • Related articles feature offers similar and related research¹
  • Cited by links to articles that cite the original article¹
  • Search Alerts can be configured to help keep current with your research interests¹

Google Scholar Cons

  • Too broad for discipline specific research
  • Results for topics studied by more than one discipline can be overwhelming to sift through
  • Can only be refined by Date and/or limited to include/exclude Patents and Citations
    • Limiting for journal and author must be included in advanced search and cannot be refined later
    • No limiting by publication type, subject/discipline, peer-review, etc.
  • Limited sort functionality
  • Google Scholar Impact Factor is usually inflated

¹ These features are also available in most UTSA Libraries databases as well as the Library Quick Search


Full Text from Google Scholar

Linking Google Scholar to UTSA Libraries


If you plan to use Google Scholar off campus and want to access full-text articles, you’ll need to link UTSA Libraries for to your Google Scholar. This can be done by following the directions below or watching this tutorial.


From Google Scholar
Sign in to your Google account, or use your abc123@ my.utsa.edu and passphrase
Click Hamburger icon at the top left cornerAvailable now @ UTSA screenshot
Click Settings gear icon
Click Library Links
Search for UTSA
Select UTSA Libraries – Available Now @ UTSA
Be sure the box next to UTSA Libraries – Available Now @ UTSA is checked
Click Save

Click the Available Now @ UTSA link for full-text access to an article. If you don’t see the link, submit a Get It For Me request, and we’ll get the material from another library for you.

If you access Google Scholar directly at scholar.google.com without logging in and creating library links, full-text linking will not be available, and you may be asked to pay.

During updates to Google Scholar these settings can be lost. If Available Now @ UTSA no longer appears, please follow the directions above to link your account again.

It is important to note that Google Scholar will not always properly link to UTSA Libraries holdings. For titles without the Available Now @ UTSA designation, we recommend visiting the item then adding the UTSA Libraries Proxy Stem and/or searching for the title, in quotations, in the Library Quick Search.


Google Scholar Advanced Search

Advanced Searching in Google Scholar

There are a couple of different ways to do advanced searching in Google Scholar.

From Google Scholar, you can use the menu  then select Advanced Search to view the advanced search interface

Google Scholar Advanced Search Menu


Advanced users may choose to build their searches directly from the basic search box¹², for example

mosquito mosquitoes infectious OR fatal “cholera strain” -dog author:jones source:nature

This search string would provide the same results as filling in the Advanced Search boxes as follows

Find articles

with all of the words                  mosquito mosquitoes

with the exact phrase               cholera strain

with at least one of the words    infectious fatal

without the words                     dog

Return articles authored by       jones

Return articles published in       nature

¹Adding the operator allintitle: before your search will limit your search terms to article titles

²Year published has to be limited after the results appear

Tips for Google Scholar

Google Scholar Tips guide/screenshot


Google Scholar will not properly link to UTSA Libraries holdings every time. For titles without the Available Now @ UTSA designation, we recommend visiting the item then adding the UTSA Libraries Proxy Stem and/or searching for the title, in quotations, in the Library Quick Search.


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