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Psychology 200: Research Methods: Google Scholar

The most efficient way to use Google Scholar is as a search engine to locate the full text of articles that Cuesta library does not own. You can also use it as a primary database, although the search capability is inferior to that of library-owned databases.

What Google Scholar Is and Is Not

Google Scholar is not a database, it is a search engine. It uses the Google Search algorithms, but searches the same kinds of books, articles, and documents that you search using the Library's catalog and databases. Results are found by text word, not by topic. For more precise searching, use the library online catalog and databases.

Many of the articles in Google Scholar are full text. To find the full document, look for a PDF or HTML link to the right of the article title.

Google Scholar full text


Configuring Scholar Preferences to Include Even More Full-text Articles

If you activate "Library Links" in Google Scholar, your search results will include full text from libraries that you borrow from. 

  1. Log in to your Google account.
  2. Click on your Google Scholar button.
  3. On the bottom right-hand side, click on the Settings gear.Google Scholar button with gear
  4. Click on Library Links.Google Scholar library links
  5. Add the libraries where you have a library card (except for Cuesta College and San Luis Obispo City/County, which are not set up to show holdings in Google Scholar). Examples are Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and San Francisco Public Library. Google Scholar library links detail

Google Scholar Add-On

The Google Scholar button is a highly effective browser plug-in for Google Scholar look-ups. It enables a user to search for an article title by highlighting the title in a database or Google search and pressing the Google Scholar button.

Use the button to transfer your article title search from a database to Google Scholar. 

  1. Download the Google Scholar extension: Chrome, Safari (from the App Store), Edge, or Firefox
  2. Conduct a database search, for example in Academic Search Complete. If an article you need is not full text in the database, click on the title and highlight it. Library database article without full text
  3. Click the Google Scholar button and check for full text in Google Scholar. Full text article found in Google Scholar
  4. Congratulations! You have now increased your access to full text of journal articles!