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
Contact:
Mullins Library 220N

Email is the best way to contact me. neciap@uark.edu

I've set my office phone to forward to my cell phone. We'll see how that works.

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 Skype or Facetime (until we are back to face to face).
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 to 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.
479-575-8421
Website

Cited References

Google Scholar will show you what works by a particular author have been cited, and how many times, IN publications that are visible to Google Scholar. There are a number of problems with the way citations are searched and cited, according to Peter Jasco (2008), among others. Not everything is visible or searchable by Google, it sometimes treats other elements as names, and GS does not do well in distinguishing authors of the same name if the name is common. Also, it may find your name as an author on a journal's site, versus someone having cited your work there. 

Google Scholar stacks results by how often particular pieces have been cited by others, and how often pages are connected to or linked to by others, as well as by other factors.

Some other databases, including Web of Science, APA PsycINFO, Ebsco Business Source, Communication and Mass Media Complete, and others will allow cited author searches for the journals and conference proceedings that they cover.

searching in google scholar with albert bandura's name within quotation marks; numbers of times cited are marked below the reference, and links on the right side go to the content if available.

The graphic shows a search for the scholar Albert Bandura, with his name in quotation marks. You can see how often a work is cited in works that show up in Google Scholar, and on the right there are links to the actual content.

Authors' Names and Cited References

Authors' names can vary in the way that they are recorded and cited. Google Scholar prefers the author's first initial and then last name, but I find it more effective to search for a particular author by putting the author's initials and last name in quotation marks: "Laurie Rene Lawrence" or "LR Lawrence", or with the name reversed, such as "Lawrence, Laurie Rene" or "Lawrence LR"

This will find 1) works by an author with that name and 2) works citing an author with that name.

Be careful. Last names and initials in common can still cause confusion. Even a less common name will usually draw up more than one author's works.

Cited Works, Journal Titles and Abbrev.

You may search for who has cited a particular work by searching by a cited author's name. Also, you may use the title of a book, a composition, a film, a work of art, or other intellectual product to find out who has cited the work. For example: "Fight Club" as a search shows citations to the movie and to the book that the movie was based on, and to the works of people writing about either one. Google scholar search with "fight club" showing citations and

Google Scholar finds both journal title abbreviations and the full title of journals, but it's not consistent because what they are finding is not content that has been purposely created to be searchable. For specific cited references, you may search using an author's name AND a journal title, but not just a journal title, as that isn't distinctive enough. Choices on the advanced search screen can streamline this type of search.