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Web Searching: Google Scholar

Informing students on how to carry out effective web searches

Using Google Scholar

Google scholar logo of hatGoogle scholar logo 

Google Scholar allows you to search scholarly articles indexed by Google. Although it includes some articles which the Library  subscribes to, it does not index everything which can be found in subscription databases. In order to access articles the Library subscribes to, you will need to set up Library Links.


  • Easy to use. 
  • Can use advanced searching.
  • Will search for alternative spellings.


  • Google scholar will not index all articles were are subscribed to on subject specialist databases.
  • Has limited BOOLEAN search capability.
  • Will not necessarily retrieve high quality information.

Setting up Library Links on Google Scholar allows you to directly access articles indexed on Google Scholar with the Library is subscribed to.

In order to set up and access library links off-campus, you will need to be connected to the University of Bath VPN.


1. You will need to create a Google account which you can do from the Google homepage by clicking 'sign in' from the top right-hand corner. Sign in

2. Go to Google Scholar click on the left-hand menu

Google scholar menu

3. then click on 'Settings' at the end of the left-hand menu.

Google scholar menu

4. Choose 'Library Links'.

5. Enter 'University of Bath' and ensure this option is ticked.

6. Press 'Save'.

Library links

Now when you search for an item it will say 'full text available' if subscribed to by the Library and allow you access to the resource.

Google scholar citation example

Advanced Search

Within Google Scholar you can use 'Advanced search' to refine your search parameters.

To access advanced search, go to the menu on the left-hand side of the screen by pressing the three line icon.

google scholar menu icon

Then choose 'Advanced search', the penultimate option on the menu.

This search also allows you to refine your search including searching for articles in particular publications or by particular authors of interest.

Advanced Search terms

These can be entered into the main Google Scholar search bar if preferred to the Advanced Search tool.

intitle: to search for a word or phrase in the title.

author: to search on an author's name.

- minus sign immediately before a search term excludes results including that term.

OR to search for alternative terms, as Google Scholar does not automatically search for synonyms. 

site: limits your search to a specific institution.

source: to search for articles within a specific publication.

"...." around phrases

For Year of Publication you need to use the advanced search tool or refine results bar on the left-hand side.


Refine results

You can then further refine your results and how they appear using the options on the left-hand menu.

Refine search



Saving results

When searching Google Scholar you can save your search results by clicking 'Save'.

These results will then be saved in 'My Library' on Google Scholar.

Google scholar citation example

Citing results

To download a citation, on a search result choose 'Cite' then select EndNote.

 (Please note that the Harvard citation may be different from Harvard Bath and you will need to adapt it.)


In the settings, you can also set your preferred referencing management software in the Bibliography manager from a short list.

However, you will still have to select your preferred option when you choose 'Cite' on a citation.