What's the difference between Google Scholar and an academic database like JSTOR or Business Source Complete?
Academic databases are searchable collections of published sources that let you know exactly what books, journals, conferences, etc. were used for the content. In many databases, you can easily find a list of publications from which the database is pulling citations; you can tell if you'll be able to find articles from Nature in the database or not. Additionally, academic databases frequently have a subject specific focus and have extensive options for limiting search results.
Google scholar is also a searchable collection of published sources, but because Google keeps their proprietary information private, they do not share from where they are pulling their content. We don't know exactly where the citations are coming from, what will be included, or what might be missing. Additionally, Google Scholar covers all disciplines and only has a few advanced search options.
Google Scholar is good for...
Google Scholar cannot...
Keep in Mind:
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:
Google also provides Google Scholar Metrics to help gauge the impact of a particular article or author.
Google Scholar often prompts you to pay for full text articles. In many cases these articles are freely accessible to Pepperdine students and faculty through one of the Library's many subscription databases or journals. You can use Google Scholar's Library Links feature to identify yourself as a Pepperdine affiliate. This allows you to find full text library resources directly through Google Scholar results.
This is what Google Scholar search results look like when you're off-campus and haven't yet identified yourself as a Pepperdine affiliate:
This is what Google Scholar search results look like once you connect your account to Pepperdine University Libraries:
If you need help locating a particular article that you found through Google Scholar, please Ask a Librarian.
From the hamburger menu in the upper left corner of the screen you can access Google Scholar's advanced search features. By clicking on the "advanced search" link, a box will pop up with options that will allow you to refine your search results. With advanced search, you can search by specific phrases, as well as authors and date ranges.
Once you are looking at a single result, there are a few options for using the item. Some of these include: