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Google Scholar

Guide to using Google Scholar for academic research at UTSA

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