Google Scholar Exercise, Level I


Other search engines tutorials

Other Google tutorials


The fastest and most comprehensive way of finding a variety of resources on the Web is using search engines, tools that allow you to look for occurrences of character strings (representing words, terms, expressions, etc.) in Web documents. Some search engines even allow you to target specific types of documents on the Web, to help you find exactly what you are looking for quickly and easily. Google offers a number of these functions; one of these that is particularly useful for research purposes is Google Scholar.



I. Introduction

Google Scholar is a comprehensive Web search of peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles. The search focuses on pages from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other academic organizations.

These are far from the only search options that Google offers. You can find out much more about Google tools by exploring the home page and the more > even more links that appear at the top of the page. For more basic information about Google and its other functions, consult other Google tutorials listed at the top of the page. 


II. To search Google Scholar

  1. Open the Web browser of your choice (e.g. Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer) by double-clicking on the icon on your desktop, or from the Start menu.
  2. Type the address of the Google Web main page (www.google.com) into the browser’s address bar and press the Enter key, or click the link.
  3. Access the Google Scholar homepage (http://scholar.google.com) by clicking the More > Scholar link that appears at the top of the Google home page. The interface is similar to the Web search interface.
  4. Click the link Advanced Scholar Search. Take a look at the features. How do these features compare to those of the image and Web advanced search options?
    1. If you were researching in the field of Translation Studies, what advanced feature(s) might you use?
  5. Return to the main Scholar search page. Click on the Scholar Preferences link.
  6. The Library Links feature allows you to specify a library and access its database and resources directly from the search results. Enter Ottawa in the search field and press Find Library.
    1. Check the box next to University of Ottawa.
    2. Press the Save Preferences button at the top or bottom of the screen to return to the search page.
  7. Search for traductique. The information in square brackets ( ) indicates the format of the result.
    1. What kind of results do you see?
  8. The Cited by link will take you to another page of references that have cited the search result. Try clicking on the Cited by link for the first result.
    1. Who has cited this book?
  9. Click the afficher/get it! uottawa link for the result Computer-Aided Translation Technology: A Practical Introduction.
    1. On the Library Network page, click the Go button.
    2. What page are you taken to?
    3. Do you think this is a useful feature?
  10. Click the Back button on your browser to return to the Cited by results.
  11. Click the link for Computer-Aided Translation Technology: A Practical Introduction.
    1. What information is provided in this window?
    2. How does this compare to what you saw in the library catalogues?
    3. What options are available in the frame at the right of the window?
    4. How does the Google Scholar search differ from a library catalogue search?
    5. How does the Scholar search compare to the Web search?
    6. When might you use Google Scholar?
  12. Using the browser’s Back button, go back to the initial results of the search for traductique and click the Recent Articles link at the top of the page.
    1. How do your results change?
    2. Change the year that appears in the drop-down list beside the search field and evaluate the results. How can this kind of feature be useful?
    3. Change the year to 2001 and look at the results. Click on a few of the results that are not preceded by the indicator BOOK or CITATION. What kinds of documents do you find?
    4. Look at the sources and characteristics of these documents. Do you think they are reliable sources of information? When might they be useful?
For more information on using Google Scholar, visit Google's help pages (scholar.google.ca/intl/en/scholar/about.html).





III. Questions for reflection

  • Google is not the only search engine available. Some other search engines are: Yahoo! (www.yahoo.com), Ask (www.ask.com) and Alta Vista (www.altavista.com). Take a look at one or all of these other search engines. Do these search engines offer similar search options? 


Tutorial updated by the CERTT Team. (2008-06-24)