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Google Scholar: Google Scholar at Strathclyde

A guide to the pros and cons of searching in Google Scholar and some of the features to help with searching.

Introduction to Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a search engine that retrieves academic level or scholarly information. Its simple search interface allows users to find academic level material quickly. However, whilst it is a very useful search engine, there is some Strathclyde content that's not available via Google Scholar. It is best to use Google Scholar in conjunction with other subscribed Strathclyde databases.

Video - Library Links & Full Text @ Strathclyde

Library Links & Full Text @ Strathclyde

Make sure that Google Scholar settings are set to show you Strathclyde subscribed content:

Google SCholar Settings Strathclyde

Choose Settings > Library Links > Search 'University of Strathclyde' > Select 'University of Strathclyde - Full Text @ Strathclyde' box > Click 'Save'.

This means when you search in Google Scholar you'll quickly see those articles where Strathclyde has a subscription and that you can get the full text:

Strathclyde results page in Google SCholar

The links to individual articles will prompt you to log in with your Strathclyde username and password.  The Full Text @ Strathclyde links to SUPrimo and you can follow the links to articles from there.

Google Scholar Coverage - what's included when I search?

  • Articles
  • Theses
  • Books and book chapters
  • Patents
  • Legal Cases
  • Technical Reports
  • Grey Literature (working documents, reports, unpublished materials)

Google Scholar Records

Google Scholar results are presented in order that Google determines are the most relevant to the search query.


  • You can choose if you want your results to be ordered by date or by relevance.

  • Items that are available from Strathclyde will display with 'Full Text @ Strathclyde' (as long as you have set up Library Links.)

  • Cited by shows the number of times an article has been cited and links to those other articles. 

  • Related articles links to other articles on a similar topic.

When should I use Google Scholar?

Use Google Scholar to find:

  • A specific article where you know the title and/or author
  • Conference Proceedings
  • To check what's 'out there' in terms of research
  • Content that you cannot access through other Library databases. Check Google Scholar as a 'last resort' 
Remember that there is other content available in the Library's subscribed databases that may not be available via Google Scholar.  Check the Library A-Z Databases link or Subject List of LibGuides to find the best databases for your area.

Limitations of Google Scholar

Although Google Scholar can be a very useful search engine it is important to remember that it has limitations: 

The results are not comprehensive;
Often the full text is not available;
Not all articles are peer-reviewed;
The Advanced Search is not as powerful as the advanced search features of databases.
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