Check My Account
Get An Account

Google Scholar

Information Literacy GEO this assignment addresses:

Using Technology to Access and Manage Information. Most students are familiar with Google, so it is a small step to get them to use Google Scholar which provides access to peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles. One may access citations or complete articles when available. (In some cases an article may not be available for free.) Google Scholar indicates how often an item has been cited in other scholarly literature, and may be configured to link to Lakeland's resources, the EJC, and the OhioLINK catalog and databases.

Objectives of assignment:

  • Student will learn to access Google Scholar through the Lakeland Library.
  • Student will perform a search and interpret results using Google Scholar.
  • Student will learn to access full text when possible; find the item through OLinks or in the OhioLINK or other library catalog; see where and how often an item has been cited.


This exercise requires the use of a computer lab with Internet access for hands-on computer instruction. The instructor should test the exercise in the lab to assure it is capable of performing all of the tasks in the exercise. This exercise can be customized to any subject area the instructor feels would benefit his/her students.

Assignment: Google Scholar Exercise

  1. Accessing the Database from the Lakeland Library Website:
    • From the Lakeland Library Webpage, go to “Internet Search”, click on “Search Engines”, and then click on “Google”. On the Google webpage, select “Scholar”.

    • Make sure that Google Scholar is configured to access OhioLINK. To do this, go under “Scholar Preferences” and look at “Library Links”. The box for “OhioLINK” should be checked. If there is no box for “OhioLINK,” type “OhioLINK” in the search field and hit the “Find Library” button. This will configure Google Scholar automatically. (You may link to up to three libraries.)

    • If you are using Google Scholar remotely and are trying to access an item through OhioLINK, you may need to login with your library password or configure your browser to use a library proxy. Access to some items may be limited to campus computers.

  2. In the search box, enter your search. Google Scholar uses the same Boolean operators as Google. (Notice that you may begin a search in Google, then click on “Scholar” and get a different set of results.)

  3. Take a look at your results. Different parts of each result are in a different color. The title is listed in blue (if it is an active link) or in black; bibliographic information such as author, publisher, date, etc. is in green; a brief description of the item is in black; and at the bottom there are links in blue. Google Scholar is a fine resource, but you will notice some inconsistencies in the availability of full text, etc.

    • Looking at your results, can you tell if an item is an article, book, dissertation, citation, etc.? __________________________

    • If the title is an active link (blue), what do you get if you click on it (full text PDF or html, citation, publisher's webpage, library catalog, etc.? _____________________________________

    • If the item is an article, can you get the full text in html or PDF format? _____________________________________

    • If the item is a book, how much of it is available online? ______

    • Can you find the item with “OLinks”? _____________________

    • Can you find the item by “Library Search”? _________________________________________________

    • Has this item been cited? If so, how many times and where? _____________________________________

Important summation/review points:

  • It is a small step for students to go from Google to Google Scholar. Google Scholar has the familiar and friendly look of Google, but yields better results.

  • Because it may yield items not found by Academic Search Premier or other OhioLINK databases, Google Scholar is a useful supplement when searching.

  • Google Scholar may be configured to link with the OhioLINK catalog and databases.

  • Returns are ranked by relevance; there are links to full text when available; shows where and how many times a work has been cited.

  • Google Scholar is a work in progress and has some inconsistencies.