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Google and Google Scholar: Strategies for searching

A guide on how to use Google and Google Scholar effectively.

Searching in Google Scholar

A few tips for searching in Google Scholar:

  • Try to only use first initials when searching for author names. Many articles only include the first initial of the author.
  • Use the "author:" operator, e.g., author:"d knuth" or author:"donald e knuth". See our Advanced Search Tips for more information
  • Abbreviations of journal names are often used, e.g. J Biol Chem rather than Journal of Biological Chemistry.
  • To search for a specific paper, put the paper's title in quotations: "A History of the China Sea."
  • Keep in mind that Google Scholar gathers bibliographical data from text and citations, (including pre-prints, which may include incomplete information). Often, when searching in Google Scholar less is more.
  • Boolean operators (+ or -) are available, but not truncation.
  • It is not possible to sort by date. If you want to find recent papers, select the date range from the dropdown menu labeled anytime under the search box. You can also receive newly added search results by email. To sign up for email updates, do a search as usual and click on the envelope icon on the green bar.
  • To search for papers in specific publications: Within the Advanced Search page, you can specify keywords which must appear in both the article and the publication name. See the Google Scholar Advanced Search Tips for more information.
  • To search by category: From the Advanced Search page, you can search for scholarly literature within several broad areas of research. You can also limit your search to legal opinions and journals.



Adapted from:
Google Scholar Help and
Advanced Search Tips

Finding Articles

Once you find an article that you want to read, you'll see several links that may be helpful to you. Here's what they mean:

  • "Cited By" will show you a list of works that cited this article.
  • "Related Articles" will direct you to articles on the same or a similar subject.
  • "Full-Text@Stellenbosch" will direct you to library databases that contain the article.

  • Click on More and then on Cite for examples on how to cite this item according to different bibliographic styles.
  • Click the envelope icon (on the left of the results) to have new results periodically delivered by email.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search