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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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Google Scholar: Home

Not Finding What You Need?

I am not finding what I need. Do you have any suggestions?
Take a look at our Research Guides  to learn about choosing an appropriate database or go directly to our databases by subject page.

I am still having trouble finding what I need, how can I get help?
If you have questions about Google Scholar, or need assistance with your research, AskUsNow.

Are there librarians at the University Libraries that are experts on Google Scholar?

Donna Braquet, John C. Hodges Library,

Ann Viera, AgVetMed Pendergrass Library, 865-974-9015

Should I Use Google Scholar?

Should I use Google Scholar?
Sometimes. It all depends on your research needs and your expectations. Google Scholar should never be the only database you search, rather it should supplement more comprehensive and authoritative databases provided by The University Libraries. Below are a few scenarios explaining when Google Scholar should and should not be used.

Scenario 1:
It is 2 a.m. and you have a paper due in 6 hours. It is a short paper and you only need a couple of articles.

Google Scholar may help in this situation. It is easy to search and always gives you thousands of results. However, if you are short on time, paging through thousands and thousands of results may not be the best use of your time. If you do not find what you need quickly in GS, you may want to try Academic Search Premier. Academic Search Premier is a full-text database that allows you to narrow your topic easily. Give it a try.

Scenario 2:
You are writing a paper for an upper level Biology course. It needs to be at least 10 pages and contain many references to scholarly, peer-reviewed articles.

Google Scholar is not your best choice in this situation. There are many databases that specialize in covering articles in a particular discipline, including several for the biological sciences. In fact, UT's Library pays for access to hundreds of databases each year. Research Librarians choose each database, taking into account quality and coverage. They are not always as simple as Google Scholar to search, but they offer more options for getting the results you need and assurance that you are getting quality, scholarly articles. Try some of the databases suggested by our expert research librarians either by visiting our databases or research guides pages.

Scenario 3:

You have a group project due. Your part of the project is to find articles to support your group's ideas. You have tried some library databases, but cannot find anything on your topic.

Google Scholar might be a good way to get started in this situation. Give Google Scholar a try. If you find a couple of articles that are useful, try finding those in the library databases and seeing what articles are related. Also, try finding the references of the articles that you found. If you are still not finding what you need, contact one of our research librarians. We are experts in helping you find the information you need.

Subject Guide

Donna Braquet

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