Google Scholar: Basic Searching
Google Scholar looks a lot like Google.
You can search for articles - the default - or American case law - which you're probably not interested in, so we'll ignore that. Enter your search terms and click the magnifying glass. You'll then see a list of results.
There are three sections (the boxes with a red border labelled 1-3).
- Section 1 is a series of search limiters described below
- Section 2 is the search results themselves
- Section 3 is a full-text indicator. If the full-text of an article is available, there will be a link to it here.
For the purposes of searching, the first box is more interesting.This contains a list of limiters and a choice of how you sort your results. These limiters are there to help you narrow your search results to a manageable number or exclude stuff that you don't want. You can limit your results
- To include only material this year
- To include only material from this year and last
- To include items published in the last five years (2017-21 at time of writing)
- To include material from a custom range (e.g., as below, material published between 2005 and 2008)
- You can choose to include patents (a patent is a like a copyright claim on an invention - the patent is a description of the invention)
- You can choose to include citations. This is perhaps the wrong name. All the search results have titles that you can click on to take you to, if not the full text than a page with details of the result. Ticking this box will include results where the titles can't be clicked on - and the only detail you get is the actual result itself. Here's a normal result:
The title and the author double as links. The title link takes you to the article webpage and clicking on the will give you all other articles written by L. Hale. Here is a citation only result
See how the title - and the author's name are not links? All you get is E. Hartman wrote The functions of sleep in 1973. Other links are provided below the item, and they'll be discussed on the Search Results page.
You can choose to sort the results by relevance. Not what you might consider relevant, but what the secret Google sorting algorithm (an algorithm is a set of instructions for a computer) considers relevant. Sorting by relevance is the default, but you can also sort by date of publication