Getting Better Results with Google Scholar

Use these tips to make Google Scholar work better!

CSES, HORT, AECT, PLPA, HESC Agriculture Librarian

Necia Parker Gibson's picture
Necia Parker Gibson
Mullins Library 220N

Email is the best way to contact me. Click the Email me button or use

I've set my office phone to forward to my cell phone. It seems to work okay. If not, send email.

I'm working from home starting 3/16/2020 until further notice. Email or use the text number below. If you want me, particularly, ask for me.

Text a librarian: 479-385-0803

For students, faculty, and staff I will:
Answer your questions via email, phone or Teams or Zoom or Facetime (by appointment).
Recommend databases for your topic.
Meet individually to work out your topic or discuss research strategies.

For faculty, I will:
Provide in-person library instruction tailored to your class, or tailored research guides for your class, with some lead time.

Meet with your students individually or in small groups.
Track down tricky citations. Purchase books and other materials, as funds allow.

I do consultations via email, Skype or Facetime (as well as face to face, when we can again).
Email me for an appointment.

Driving Google to more specific materials

There are some other specific things you can do to search Google:

Author: to get works by someone with that name. Looking for a co-author? tp:name finds the name on the title page.

  • the lack of a space between author:name is important. There shouldn't be a space after any of these commands.

Author name AROUND(2) author name should, in theory, get the first author name within 2 spaces of the second author name. (Alfonzo, Paige, 2016. Teaching Google Scholar, p. 54.)

Publication: to search in a publication. No space between Publication:title. (Alfonzo, 2016)

Related: www.???.??? where ? is the URL of a site you like, will retrieve other web sites that are like what you used.

Site: n?.??? and search terms, where ?.? is the URL of the site you want to search, yields internal documents and information 

for example adoption rates

(some of the tips above are based on a webinar presentation by Mary O'Kelly and Colleen Lyon, "Searching Google Like a Librarian." 9/13/2011).

You can search for images, of course, but you can also search using images-- click on the camera icon to upload an image to search with, or paste in a URL for the page where it is located.


Color Searching within Image Searching? and other creative tweaks

You can make an image search more specific by recognizing a major color within the image you want and clicking on the palette on the lower left. This only works in image searches, but it's an interesting feature.

Some Other Symbols that Work in Google Searcher

Google, and therefore Google Scholar, uses a number of symbols in searches:

$ indicates a price, so that you can search for a car of a certain price as [Volvo 245 $2000]

-dash finds words that are adjacent or linked, so pie-bald retrieves pie-bald and piebald

% gives a percent of something.

You can also get simple math, such as numbers operator numbers = ( e.g. 400 x 50=) and weight and measure conversions using =?, such as 400 grams= ? lbs.