Google Scholar FAQ

Google Scholar is a freely available Internet search engine for academic resources in all subject fields. It searches content in peer-reviewed journal literature, books, dissertations, preprint repositories, academic society papers (if available), and technical reports. See below for answers to frequently asked questions.

How do I access full-text articles cited in Google Scholar that are available to USC School of Medicine users?

Go to the Google Scholar homepage.  It is important to use the Library's link to Google Scholar so the full text icons appear. You can begin your search by inputting search terms in the Search box. The defaults for preferences are automatically set to University of South Carolina Columbia (USC Columbia eText).

 

How comprehensive is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar searches open access materials as well as items from many publishers, including some of the resources to which the University Of South Carolina School Of Medicine Library Libraries subscribe. However, Google Scholar only searches a fraction of the published scholarly literature. The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Library licenses many online databases and resources provide more relevant, focused, up-to-date, and comprehensive information.

Can I use Google Scholar instead of MEDLINE (PubMed)?

Google Scholar includes articles from many of the same journals that can be found in MEDLINE. However, it contains only a fraction of the articles indexed by MEDLINE and there are large gaps in its coverage of important medical journals, especially for recent articles.

Can I display search results by date?

Yes, you can sort your results by relevance or date.

What does "Cited by" mean?

Clicking the 'Cited by' link will display a list of articles and documents that have cited the document originally retrieved in the search. This makes it possible to uncover other documents related by topic or subject to the original document. However, Google Scholar only includes articles that are indexed within its database, and this is a much smaller subset of scholarly articles than found in some other University Of South Carolina School Of Medicine Library subscribed databases.