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Library Guides

Google Scholar: Pros & Cons of Google Scholar

Information about Google Scholar and tips on how to use it

Pros: What is Google Scholar Good For?

  • Finding journal articles by words title and abstract across a wide variety of electronic journals
  • Finding materials by author across disciplines.
  • Finding free preprint and open-access copies of journal articles on the web
  • Natural language searching (= searching using regular spoken language rather than specialized vocabulary) for articles and resources by subject across disciplines, especially content that Drew may not have direct access to (an alternative to ScholarSearch)
  • Finding recently published material
  • Finding papers and websites that cite a particular paper or book
  • Setting up current awareness search alerts
  • Citation verification, citation capture
  • First-pass legal lookup.
  • Academic research when academic indexes are not available, or to supplement academic indexes

Cons: What is Google Scholar Not Good For?

  • There is little restricted subject indexing.
  • Items retrieved are not necessarily peer-reviewed
  • Dissertations available through UMI are not well covered.
  • It is in no way comprehensive, and has limited field searching and proximity searching (use subject area indexes for sophisticated searching.


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