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Google Scholar Search Strategies

Using Google Scholar for Research

Google Scholar is a powerful tool for researchers and students alike to access peer-reviewed papers. With Scholar, you are able to not only search for an article, author or journal of interest, you can also save and organize these articles, create email alerts, export citations and more. Below you will find some basic search tips that will prove useful.

This page also includes information on Google Scholar Library - a resource that allows you to save, organize and manage citations - as well as information on citing a paper on Google Scholar.

Search Tips

Abstracts are freely available for most of the articles and UMass Lowell holds many subscriptions to journals and online resources. The first step is make sure you are affiliated with the UML Library on and off campus by Managing your Settings, under Library Links. 

When searching in Google Scholar here are a few things to try to get full text:

  1. click a library link, e.g., "Full-text @ UML Library", to the right of the search result;
  2. click a link labeled [PDF] to the right of the search result;
  3. click "All versions" under the search result and check out the alternative sources;
  4. click "More" under the search result to see if there's an option for full-text;
  5. click "Related articles" or "Cited by" under the search result to explore similar articles.

google scholar result page


Your search results are normally sorted by relevance, not by date. To find newer articles, try the following options in the left sidebar:

  1. click "Since Year" to show only recently published papers, sorted by relevance;date range menu
  2. click "Sort by date" to show just the new additions, sorted by date; If you use this feature a lot, you may also find it useful to setup email alerts to have new results automatically sent to you.
  3. click the envelope icon to have new results periodically delivered by email.

Note: On smaller screens that don't show the sidebar, these options are available in the dropdown menu labeled "Any time" right below the search button.

The Related Articles option under the search result can be a useful tool when performing research on a specific topic. 

google scholar results page

After clicking you will see articles from the same authors and with the same keywords.

court opinions dropdown

You can easily search for court opinions on Google Scholar by selecting "case law" on the left sidebar in the search results page, or by choosing "case law" underneath the search bar on the homepage. menu options

You can select the jurisdiction from either the search results page or the home page as well; simply click "select courts". You can also refine your search by state courts or federal courts. 

To quickly search a frequently used selection of courts, bookmark a search results page with the desired selection. 

 How do I sign up for email alerts?

Do a search for the topic of interest, e.g., "M Theory"; click the envelope icon in the sidebar of the search results page; enter your email address, and click "Create alert". Google will periodically email you newly published papers that match your search criteria. You can use any email address for this; it does not need to be a Google Account. 

If you want to get alerts from new articles published in a specific journal; type in the name of this journal in the search bar and create an alert like you would a keyword. 

How do I get notified of new papers published by my colleagues, advisors or professors?

alert settings

First, do a search for your their name, and see if they have a Citations profile. If they do, click on it, and click the "Follow new articles" link in the right sidebar under the search box.

If they don't have a profile, do a search by author, e.g., [author:s-hawking], and click on the mighty envelope in the left sidebar of the search results page. If you find that several different people share the same name, you may need to add co-author names or topical keywords to limit results to the author you wish to follow.

How do I change my alerts?

If you created alerts using a Google account, you can manage them all on the "Alerts" page


alert settings menu

From here you can create, edit or delete alerts. Select cancel under the actions column to unsubscribe from an alert. 

To access Advanced Text, on the Google Scholar home screen select the down arrow in the search bar

This will pop-open the advanced search menu



Here you can search specific words/phrases as well as for author, title and journal. You can also limit your search results by date.