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Google Scholar: Advanced Information

This guide lays out the benefits and limitations of Google Scholar, with sections geared toward faculty, students, graduate students, and librarians and is designed for reuse at PALNI schools.


Image of a GraphMetrics

“Google Scholar Metrics provide an easy way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Scholar Metrics summarize recent citations to many publications, to help authors as they consider where to publish their new research.” - Google Scholar Metrics Overview

“Scholar Metrics cover a substantial fraction of scholarly articles published in the last five years. However, they don't currently cover a large number of articles from smaller publications.” - Coverage of Publications

“Scholar Metrics only include publications with at least a hundred articles in the last five years” No court opinions, patents, books, dissertations or publications that received no citations in the last five years are included. - Inclusion and Corrections

Metrics: Metrics allows you to browse top publications based on citation metrics, the five year h-index and h-median metrics.  

My profile: To set up your profile as an author, make sure you are logged to Google Scholar with your Google Account credentials first. For quick set-up, click on the Get Started button on the Google Scholar Citations help page to start adding citations. After you have completed setting up your profile and adding an affiliation and research interests, your publications list and citations will appear when you login to Google Scholar.

Citations: By setting up your profile, you can track who is citing your publications and see your citation metrics after adding your publications. You can add articles you have written manually by clicking on the “plus” button, and Google will also show you articles that match your name as the author that you can select for your profile.

The cited by section of your profile includes a total number of citations to your publications in Google Scholar's index. The h-index is the largest number h such that h publications have at least h citations. The i10-index is the number of publications with at least 10 citations.

Authors: To add a paper that is digitally unpublished or a version that is self-published to Google Scholar and subsequently be able to monitor its metrics, upload the full publication document to a website where it is freely accessible and add the link to your personal Google Scholar publications page. The publications should be included in Google Scholar within several weeks.

Requirements for a publication for Google Scholar addition:

  • The document must be a PDF and the file name must end in .pdf
  • The title of the paper must be on the first page in a large font
  • The authors of the paper must listed on a line immediately below the title line
  • There must be a clearly titled bibliography section at the end of the publication (e.g. “References” or “Bibliography”)

Tips for Literature Reviews

Image of an ArticleLiterature Reviews

To start a literature review, you want to perform a comprehensive search for your topic.

Google Scholar indexes articles, abstracts and books from major academic publishers as well as content aggregators such as ProQuest, Gale and JSTOR.

Gold open access journal content from academic publishers, both large and small, and Green open access content from institutional and disciplinary repositories are included.

Google Scholar limits searches to 1000 results, but the advanced search allows you to search by author, publication and date ranges.

You can also track citations by looking up the cited works from a relevant publication by clicking on the Cited by link on each publication in your search results.

Library Links

Image of a LibraryLibrary Links

You can set up Google Scholar so it will display links to full text available from your library, even while you are off campus. To do this, start with the settings menu, located by clicking the three lines in the upper left hand corner of the screen.

Image of Google Scholar Settings


Once you have clicked on Settings, click on Library Links. Then, search for the name of your library and click the check box that will appear. Don't forget to click the Save button!


Image of Google Scholar Settings

Other settings

Image of a GearOther Settings

You can change some of Google Scholar’s default settings. To access the settings, click the three lines in the upper left hand corner of the screen.

Alerts: Google Scholar allows you to receive e-mail notifications for changes in specific search queries. Users with a Google Scholar profile setup will also receive notifications when new articles site your published articles.

Bibliography manager: Located under Settings, then Search results. You can also set up Google Scholar to use a specific citation management program (e.g. EndNote, RefWorks). Just select the one you use, and you’ll get an option in your results list to save the citations specifically formatted for that program.

Button: Located under Settings. This browser add-on allows you to search in Google Scholar through your web browser’s URL / search box.