Google Scholar: features and how it works

Google Scholar is a special free search engine that allows you to locate academic sources online using keywords. Find out how it works.

Google Scholar is a freely accessible search engine that allows you to find texts from academic literature using keywords. It is a service designed specifically for the world of education, for researchers and scholars who need to supplement their knowledge with books, articles, doctoral dissertations, and so on, which would otherwise be difficult to find; in fact, with this tool it is possible to obtain copies of scientific materials both in print and digital form.

What is Google Scholar

In 2004, the world's most famous search engine launched the Google Scholar service in order to index and make available as many academic publications as possible. Unlike Google Books, which allows you to search for any book or journal that has been scanned and uploaded to an online database, Google Scholar provides a more targeted service, focusing on all specialized documents and materials in the field of scientific research and literature. It also allows publishers and authors to keep track of the citations their work has received.

The files made available to the user include all types of academic publications, ranging from books and manuals to dissertations and doctoral theses, but also scientific articles and journals, pre-prints or patents, citations, summaries and reviews; moreover, the search engine includes results that can be consulted through online libraries, providing the relevant links. In short, if you are looking for quality content for your studies or want to deepen your knowledge, Google Scholar is your best ally.

How Google Scholar works

Google Scholar works like any Google extension: just enter your search terms and browse through the results to find those that best suit your needs. In the bar you can enter keywords, the title of the text or the name of the author: to make a more precise search, for example if you are looking for the works of a specific writer, you can include the data between two quotes so "x". You can also choose to search for results in all languages or filter only those in Italian.

Results will be shown in order of relevance according to the 10-Index criterion, i.e. a classification of publications that have received the most awards (starting from a minimum of 10). If, on the other hand, you are researching a recently treated topic, you can choose to display the results in chronologically descending order. The new order also takes into account other parameters, such as the author's previously published papers, which journal they appear in, and the frequency of citations received.

For each item in the list, Google Scholar also provides references to the author, publisher, and publication date. What's more, next to each item in the list appears the Related Publications link, thanks to which you can access all the papers that deal with similar or related topics to your research.

But the potential of Google Scholar is not limited only to this. In fact, the platform also allows you to create your own profile to access your personalized research, store documents in your library to consult them at any time, add notes, set up an alert that notifies you via email to receive updates on topics that interest you. In addition, if you use the Google Chrome browser you can add the Scholar button to activate the automatic search of documents on this search engine.

How to create your Google Scholar profile

To perform any research you do not need to be registered on the site, however you can create your own Google Scholar profile to take advantage of a more complete service. Accessing your new account will be very simple and Libero Tecnologia shows you how to do it in a few quick clicks: all you need is a Google (or Gmail) account to access the platform and start creating your library.

First connect to the website; then click on the academic touch icon to access the My Profile section and fill in the Citation form that will open; once you have inserted your data, your field of interest and your website if you have one, go to the articles window to add both your publications and all the articles related to your activities. Finally, choose which data to make visible, how and how often to update your profile, and settings related to search preferences, such as which results to display or whether to show links to the original libraries.