What is it and how to use Google Scholar?

If you are doing an CBT or some more academic research, you may be having a hard time finding appropriate information and articles. An easy way to find them and learn how to use Google Scholar, Google's search platform for more technical knowledge.

Read on and find out everything about it, as well as how to use it to find what you're looking for!

1. What is Google Scholar?

The first section of our article will cover everything you need to know about Google Scholar, and then explain how to use it.

It is, in a simplified way, a free search service offered by Google, with a very similar operation to the company's standard search service. However, it focuses on indexing entire texts and metadata from academic literature that are available in the most varied newspapers, and formats, of any discipline.

In 2004, it was released in beta. Since then, it has evolved to be easily considered the best service of its kind for academic searches, regardless of wanting to find books, theses, dissertations, abstracts, pre-publication libraries and scientific articles, in addition to a wide range of other things.

Even if it does not provide an official number the size of its database, researchers estimate that the platform aggregates around 389 million documents, articles, citations and patents, being the largest academic search tool.

The most criticized thing about Google Scholar is the lack of a more thorough newspaper verification process that includes, which ends up resulting in the inclusion of many unreliable and even predatory sources.

What is using Google Scholar


In addition to the obvious, being able to search Google Scholar, it's good to know what else you can do with it before you find out how to use it. Below are listed the main features and capabilities of this tool.

  • Conduct research on academic information from anywhere in the world;
  • Explore related works and articles, as well as citations, authors and publications;
  • Find the complete document through the library or the internet;
  • Always stay up to date on any research area with ease;
  • Receive alerts whenever someone mentions your publication by creating a public profile;
  • Rank documents in a very similar way as researchers do, making sure that the best and most reliable sources are always at the top;
  • Create your own virtual library so that you always have easy access to the articles most relevant to you.

2. How to use Google Scholar?

Now that you know a lot about this platform, we will teach you how to use Google Scholar so that you can always find exactly what's behind.

How to use?

To start using it, it is necessary to go to the official website in any of the best internet browsers by following the link. Remember that, even if you don't have apps for Android or iPhone, it can be used on smartphones by the browser. The page that will open is very similar to the Google homepage.


The search process is quite simple: just type in the term or area you want to find. With that, you will receive all results with the search term. You can also refine the results and change how the platform shows them to you using the menu on the left:

  • Filter by date: By default, it will show results for any given data, but it is possible to select years or filter a specific period of time;
  • Change the rating: By default, it will sort the results by relevance, using the criteria chosen by Google, but it is possible to show them by date;
  • Change the language: By default, it will show results in any language, but you can change it so that it only shows results in Portuguese, so that you don't need Google Translate to read;
  • Include or exclude patents and citations when checking the boxes.
  • Whether to include patents and citations, by checking and unchecking the boxes below.

Search how to use Google Scholar

Advanced search

Another way to use Google Scholar is to use Advanced Search, to further refine everything, which can be done in the three-line menu in the corner of the screen. Click on it and "Advanced Search" to see the following search options:

  • Find articles:
    • With all the words: Results will have ALL search terms;
    • With the exact phrase: The results will have the searched phrase, exactly;
    • With at least one of the words: The results will have at least ONE of the words searched;
    • Without the words: The results will NOT have the terms searched here;
    • Where my words occur: You can define whether you want the search terms to be anywhere in the result or if you want to restrict only to the title;
  • View articles by: The results will be only of the authors whose names were written here;
  • View articles published in: Results will only be from magazines or newspapers whose names you type here;
  • Display articles dated between: The results will be delimited between the two years entered.

Advanced search

Configure alerts

The last step in knowing how to use Google Scholar is to learn how to set up alerts. They work by sending you warnings whenever a pre-established search term is used, so that you are always up to date. Just click on the "Create Alert" for this.

Set up alerts how to use Google Scholar

What did you think of our explanation of what it is and how to use Google Scholar?

Tell in the comments section if you liked the article and if it helped you, also saying if you like the platform or if you prefer any alternative. Also, check out how to deal with boredom in quarantine and the best activities to do at home and promote your well-being!

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