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Using Google Scholar

Simple Search

Like regular Google, Google Scholar's default search interface is a simple search with a single text box to enter search terms:

Google Scholar search bar

To perform a quick search, enter search terms and select the blue magnifying glass button (or hit Enter) to return results. Search terms can be topical keywords or bibliographic details of a particular resource, like title, author, or publication.

Review details below for advanced search features or see the Refining and Evaluating Search Results page of this guide to narrow down results.

Advanced Search

Since Google Scholar offers limited options for refining search results, an Advanced Search can be beneficial for limiting the number of results and increasing their accuracy. To access Advanced Search options, select the three line "expand" icon in the upper left of Google Scholar and then select "Advanced Search" from the drop-down:

"Advanced Search" selected from Google Scholar action menu

The Advanced Search menu will pop-up and you can enter search terms in the appropriate text boxes and select some limits. Advanced Search is useful for both locating pertinent resources and tracking down known citations.

Advanced Search screen in Google Scholar with several search boxes and options to limit search results1. The first four text boxes enable you to enter search terms and coordinate them using the "with/without" conditions. This approximates the use of boolean operators that you find in many online databases that use modifiers "AND," "OR," and "NOT" to coordinate lines of search terms.

2. You can also select if search terms need to appear in the title of the resource, or could be anywhere in the citation or full-text. Selecting "anywhere in the article" will return significantly more results than "in the title of the article."  

3. Enter the name of an author to limit your search to their work. Names can be written in direct order (first name, last name) or just last name. This limit is especially useful when looking for a resource where you know the name of the author but not the title of the work. 

4. Enter the name of a publication to limit your search to its articles/resources. Academic journals typically focus on a particular discipline and/or scholarly approach, making this a useful advanced search field. 

5. Enter a date range to limit search results to those dates of publication. It is generally recommended for students to look for recent scholarship, usually within 10 years of the search year.

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