Google Scholar searches specifically for scholarly materials such as journal articles, research reports, dissertations and theses, preprints, technical reports, patents, manuscripts in preparation, working papers and many other document types.
When you do a search in Google Scholar, you get a list of citations. You'll get links to the full text in the following cases:
We don't really know how Google Scholar indexes items, but this is how Google Scholar defines the weighting system:
"Google Scholar aims to sort articles the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each article, the author, the publication in which the article appears, and how often the piece has been cited in other scholarly literature." The most relevant results will always appear on the first page. (http://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/about.html)
Remember, Google's goal is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," but researchers need to learn to critically evaluate research materials.
Google does not search the deep web (aka invisible web or hidden web). These terms refer to World Wide Web content that is not part of the surface Web indexed by search engines. It is estimated that the deep Web is several orders of magnitude larger than the surface Web (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_web). This means that Google Scholar cannot find everything that might be of use to you.
As a research tool, Google Scholar is good for many tasks, and not as good for others. When deciding whether to use Google Scholar or one of the library's education databases, keep in mind:
Google Scholar is good for...
Google Scholar cannot...
Keep in Mind:
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Like Google, Google Scholar also has an advanced search function to enable more precise searching. Additional functionalities include determining how your search terms should be searched, searching by author or source publication and limiting by date.
To access the advanced search hover over the drop down arrow from the main search box.