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Guide to Searching

Become a better searcher!

About Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a search engine that provides links to full-text articles to which the University Library System subscribes or to articles made freely available by the publisher. Google Scholar also provides articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and scholarly articles posted on the web. In addition, many articles are available full text when connected to the TCSPP Library. Finally, Scholar provides citations along with abstracts of the article if it is protected by copyright.



Pros of using Google Scholar:

  • Ease of use; similar features of Google web search
  • Search by cited feature
  • Ranking of results
  • Citation information provided
  • Search vast array of information; technical reports, preprints, societal publications, conference proceedings
  • Full-text if available
  • Allows you to save both citations and articles to read later.

Cons of using Google Scholar

  • Full-text not available or restriction access without a subscription
  • Google Scholar's coverage is is wide-ranging but not comprehensive. It can be a research source, but should not be the only source you use.
  • Uneven coverage in social sciences, better for hard sciences
  • No limiter for just peer-reviewed publications
  • Few options to limit or narrow search results. For more search options, and more precise searching, use a library database.

Link Google Scholar to the Library

Go to Google Scholar at

1) In the the upper left corner of the Google Scholar page, click the Menu bar

2) Go to Settings

3) On the Settings page, click on "Library Links"

4) Search TCS

5) Check mark  "TCS Education System Libraries -View It @ TCSES Libraries" option


6) Click "Save"

Now when you search Google Scholar, you'll see "ViewIt at TCSES Libraries" links, which indicates the item is available full text through the library.

Google Scholar Search Tips

Often a simple keyword search will help you find what you need. However, there are times when you may want to have more control over what your search does. You may want to control the publication date, search for results by a particular author or in a particular journal, give synonyms, or remove unwanted results. in these cases, the Advanced Scholar Search menu can help.

Click on the menu bar on the top left side of the page to access the Advanced Search:

The Advanced Scholar Search menu has eight ways of searching. You have the option to mix and match these different search options.

The Advanced Scholar Search Menu

All / Exact Phrase / At Least One / Without

Helps you control the search words you are searching with.

  • Words typed into the first search bar must all be included in your result. This is how a regular Google Scholar search works.
  • Words types into the second search bar will be searched as an exact phrase. Not only must all of those words be included in each results, they must be included together in the exact order you wrote them in.
    • You can also do this in the regular search bar by putting the words in quotes. Ex. "social distancing" 
  • When words are typed into the third search bar, Google Scholar will give you any result that included at least one of those words. This can be a good way to incorporate synonyms or related ideas into your search. 
    • You can also do this in the regular search bar by putting "OR" in between your search words. Ex. Theory OR Model
  • When words are typed into the fourth search bar, Google Scholar will only return results without those words. This can be useful if your results are cluttered with things that are not relevant to your search. 
    • You can also do this in the regular search bar by putting a minus sign (-) before a word. Ex. Shakespeare -tragedies
Where My Words Occur

Controls where Google Scholar will look for your search words. 

  • Selecting "anywhere in the article" will likely turn up a larger number of results, because the search engine can look for your keywords in more places. This is the Google Scholar default. 
  • Selecting "in the title of the article" may help improve the relevance of your results, because if your keyword is in the title, it is likely more important to what the article is about.
Authored by/Published in/ Dated Between
  • The first search bar lets you search for results by a certain author
    • You can also do this in the regular search bar by putting "author:" before the author's name. Ex. intersectionality author:Crenshaw
  • The second search bar lets you search for results in a particular scholarly journal. Google Scholar understands many common ways of abbreviating journal titles.
  • The last search tool lets you search for results from within a range of publication dates
    • You can also adjust this from the results page.