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Google Scholar demystified
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Google Scholar logoAnswers to Frequently Asked Questions about Google Scholar.

Q. What is Google Scholar?  

A. Google search for scholarly articles, books, theses on a variety of topics, heavy on science & social science. Good for international materials.

 

Q. How do I get full-text of articles I find through Google Scholar?  

A. Look for the "find article @ UNC" link to the right of the search results. UNC Library staff have activated "Find @ UNC" within Google Scholar to facilitate easy access to content available at UNC. 

Google Scholar

Q. What is "Find @ UNC"? 

A. Links article metadata to article full-text if available through any UNC-licensed databases (using the OpenURL standard). If the article is in a 2008 issue of Journal of Communication, "Find @ UNC" knows that we have that issue available online through the publisher.

Q. Hey, that doesn't work for me!  

A. It won't if you're off-campus and don't have the magic URL.  If you are off-campus and want to use Google Scholar, use this link: http://libproxy.lib.unc.edu/login?url=http://scholar.google.com/

Q. What do you think about Google Scholar? 

PROS: 

- easy to search
- quick
- good for citation searching (who's cited this article)
- good coverage for international / non-English topics

CONS:

- can be hard to track down full-text of articles if you don't know about Find @ UNC, or if you aren't logged in from off-campus.
- no clear description of scope or scale of their holdings (are they a science search engine? social science? what Advertising journals are included? how far back is the Journal of Communication indexed?)
- full-text may be from author's website -- which might or might not be the same as the published version 
- some metadata is wacky, leading to incorrect citations (see Peter Jacso's article on "ghost authors")

Q. Hmmm. I don't want to rely on Google Scholar so much.  What else can I do?

A. As part of the UNC community, we have many reliable, scholarly search engines for JOMC-related topics. Those are listed on the Park Library home page.

Read more about Google Scholar from the staff at the UNC Library.

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