Google Scholar: Every Researcher's Go-To Guide
Guides and eBooks Indexing Academic Publishing

Google Scholar: Every Researcher's Go-To Guide

Sumalatha G
Sumalatha G

Table of Contents

Google Scholar Search

When Google was officially launched as a web-based search engine, none of us would have thought it could address academicians' research discovery problems via "Google Scholar."  

The launch of Google Scholar in November 2004 took the scholarly communication world by storm by authenticating the true meaning of Google, i.e., "largest information resource."

At first, researchers worldwide acknowledged this new product of Google intended to empower research by transforming the research-finding process. Over the years, with the advent of gaming, inaccurate citation counts, no periodic data updates, and other platform-centric concerns ascended gradually. As a result, many users started questioning the reliability of the platform. Consequently, some users request feature updates with advanced search options or services, while others dig into the sources' credibility.

Meanwhile, the budding research scholars are still wondering if it is a reliable academic search engine or if they should rely on other exhaustive search engines like Web of Science, Scopus, and SciSpace.

To help all the researchers, including students, authors, and professors across academia, we have created a comprehensive guide on Google Scholar. It provides a synopsis of the platform, centralizing its features, limitations, strengths, weaknesses, and future pursuits.

Introduction to Google Scholar

Google Scholar is the academic search engine that allows researchers to search, discover, and access scholarly works or scholarly sources effortlessly. As a subset of Google (the largest search engine), it indexes millions of full-text articles, abstracts, court opinions, theses, preprints, books, and selected web pages (web pages collections) across multiple disciplines.

It indexes all research papers, including full-text and subscription-based content from major academic publishers, universities, digital repositories, and other commercial publishers. It also includes grey literature that is available online. In short, it helps you find relevant scientific works that hasten your scholarly projects.

It covers a wide range of research subjects, including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine) and Social studies (Education and Counseling) in a broader spectrum. On the other hand, it comprises a modest amount of research content or consists of the fewest research papers subjected to Humanities (Religion and Biblical Studies). In addition, it indexes legal documents, case reports, and patent data about the law.

everything-you-need-to-know-about-google-scholar
Google Scholar: Every Researcher's Go-To Guide

How does the crawling work?

It uses a web crawler or a web robot to crawl the journal's consented content from the Online Computer Library Center's (OCLC) Open WorldCat and the National Library of Medicine's PubMed.

Major publishers or universities deliberately want to get crawled by this database. Because of the readership and significant discoverability that the ingested content receives by getting indexed in the search engine.

History of Google Scholar

The idea of building a dedicated scholarly search engine arose amidst a discussion between two tech guys, Alex Verstak and Anurag Acharya, on their sabbatical leave.

The agenda behind their sabbatical leave was to identify an approach or a way to rank the scholarly papers higher and easier on Google. Initially, their idea wasn't just to find an indexing database but to feed the academic intent queries with quality research reports. Accordingly, they built an internal prototype. The prototype witnessed constructive feedback, and people tried and acknowledged the results. And that's how it turned out to be "Scholar," aka Google Scholar search engine.

To reinforce easy and unrestricted access to scientific knowledge, they decided to roll out the beta version of it in November 2004. The publicizing strategy included the slogan "Stand on the shoulders of giants" from Bernard of Chartres, quoted by Isaac Newton. The saying unveils the fact that Google Scholar will be the foundation of your future scientific innovation and discovery.

As the product was familiarized, the inventors released new features to help research scholars worldwide. Thus, they introduced the following series of updates to the platform.

  • 2006: A citation importing feature was enforced to support the reference database, such as RefWorks, RefMan, EndNote, and BibTeX.
  • 2007: A program was initiated to digitize and host journal articles online in agreement with their publishers. It was an effort to distinguish Google Books that indexes the older literature without the metadata.
  • 2011: The "Scholar" was detached from Google to promote a smoother user transition from the home page to it's landing page.
  • 2012: They reached a significant milestone by providing the authors a platform to create their profiles under "Scholar Citations profiles" and start tracking their research papers' metrics.
  • 2013: Introduced "Google Scholar library" that allows researchers to save their search results, or it can be called the authors' personalized collection tab for their references.

What is the Ranking Algorithm of the Google Scholar?

google-scholar-search-interface-typeset-resources
Google Scholar search interface

Unlike other search engines, it searches for a publication using a combined ranking algorithm guarded by multiple factors, including relevance, citation counts, and publication date. Predominantly the algorithm scale is drawn towards citation counts and relevance.

For example, when people search for any particular keyword, author, or year, it shows relevant research papers based on the highest citation counts, which makes it the primary ranking factor.

But, the algorithm rituals don't always stick to the citation counts. It works "the way researchers do — weighing the full text of each article, the author, the publication in which the article appears, and how often the piece has been cited in other scholarly literature." So, besides citation counts, it also gives prominence to the article title length and other factors similar to a researcher's search mechanism.

How does Google Scholar choose and include the sources?

A study compared Web of Science and Scopus databases with Google Scholar to review the approach of coverage and inclusion of the scholarly content.

Web of Science and Scopus uses a selective approach based on specific criteria and crawls only the appropriate or selective scholarly resources from the web. It follows a comprehensive and automated inclusion technique and indexes academic documents that its robot crawlers can locate on the web. As a result, these databases only include a small portion of the social sciences and humanities, non-English literature, and scholarly texts while majorly focusing on science journal articles. Conversely, the inclusive and unsupervised methodology used by Google Scholar indexes all the academic literature available on the web without any sieving of the sources. Thus, it maximizes the coverage and discoverability of both the authors and papers. However, this could also be one of the shortcomings of the database because of the lack of source evaluation. But, it still plays a vital role in boosting the discoverability of all papers.

a-comparison-study-of-web-of-science-scopus-google-scholar

Source

What are the advantages of Google Scholar?

It helps us retrieve research papers and aids in inventing research works for the advancement of science.  

The advantages of Google Scholar include:

  • It is relatively easy to use and user-friendly, retrieving desired user-intent documents in no time.
  • It allows the author to search for all forms of scholarly literature on various topics, including grey literature like conference proceedings.
  • The results surpass the search-intent query keyword, i.e., it provides additional and other keyword-associated information and helps the user to learn more.
  • You can access an abundance of knowledge at your fingertips.
  • You can explore other authors' profiles, publications, citations, and related publications.
  • Find the whole document or shortlist it in your library.
  • You can stay up to date with the latest scientific development in your research area by creating alerts (which is located on the left column of the website).
  • Create your academic profile and keep track of your research works citations.

How Google Scholar helps publishers?

Google had a superior association with the publishers in indexing their web content even before the launch of this scholarly indexing database. However, convincing the academic publishers to get their journal content crawled on the search engine was still challenging for the entire team.

The inflow of academic queries helped the team convince publishers about the traffic they would receive when their content gets indexed on Google Scholar.

That way, it helps publishers to boost the visibility and accessibility rates of the content worldwide by making them readily discoverable.

Since then, all the peer-reviewed articles, theses, preprints, abstracts, and technical reports from across multiple academic disciplines have been indexed by the platform in collaboration with publishers.

What is Academic Search Engine Optimization?

Like how search engine optimization works by making the web content rank higher on the search engine result page, ASEO is the process of optimizing research papers to rank higher on the academic search engine. Most publishers and organizations are adopting ASEO to help them rank higher and increase the visibility of the research article. As a researcher/author, optimizing your research papers for academic search engines is crucial. If you are a newbie to ASEO and want to gain more insights into ASEO; you can refer to the article "Optimizing Scholarly Articles For Academic Search Engines — Every Researcher's SEO Guide," co-authored by Dr. Lisa Schillan.

What is the difference between Google, Google Books, and Google Scholar?

Google 

  • A go-to search engine to find quick answers for basic information

  • Not ideal to discover or find books or academic sources 

  • Provides a quick overview of the query or the searched topic (which might or might not be peer-reviewed or verified information) 

Google Books

  • It is the dedicated search engine to find the full text of books. However, not all books are included in Google Books, yet it shows the book preview and helps you get the book from the corresponding publisher. 

  • It includes free and paid books; you can get the desired book based on your requirement. 

Google Scholar

  • It is a search engine designed to access academic resources. When you need evidence-based information on your topic of interest, Google Scholar is the one for you.

  • The information probed on Google Scholar are scholarly sources from which you can find relevant articles backing up your scientific works.


google-versus-google-books-versus-google-scholar
Google Vs. Google Books Vs. Google Scholar

What are the advantages of Google Scholar?

Creating a Google Scholar profile helps both the searchers and the readers in terms of disseminating knowledge. Researchers can keep track of their citations and h-index, increasing the paper's discoverability. Alternatively, readers can easily find relevant scholarly literature on the search engine.

It also helps researchers showcase their publications and Google Scholar citations to the readers directly without hassle.

The Google Scholar profile creation is easier and involves five simple steps to get an official account here.

1. Set up your account

Visit scholar.google.com, and click on the "My Profile" option at the top left of the page. It takes you to the next page and asks you to input your Name, Affiliation, Email address, Areas of interest, and university homepage (however, it is not mandatory); you can skip it.

2. Add your publications

You can either select "Group" or "Articles" by looking into the research papers listed. Since Google Scholar has been indexing all the scholarly works, it might be easier for you to choose your documents and add them to your publications.

Please note if you have selected the "Groups," there are chances the group might have articles that you do not author. You can delete them later manually once you have completed creating your account.

3. Make your profile "Public"

You're almost there! You need to pick the convenient options that work best for you about your article updates, profile visibility, and follow by email. It's advisable to add a profile picture and make it public to increase your profile's visibility, discoverability, and publications.
Note: You can change your profile visibility from "public" to "private" anytime.

There you go! Your profile is completed, and you officially have your scholar account.

So, you now have the profile; what next?

Time to explore its features and specifications!

Let's get to know them!

features-of-google-scholar
Features of Google Scholar 

It provides a decent set of features that aids in the author's publication primary discovery, management, and organization process.

The major features include:

What are the features and specifications of Google Scholar?

  • Save/My library: This allows you to save the relevant articles to your library.
  • Cite: You can use the "Cite" feature to cite in your current or future research works
  • Cited by: By far, it is the quickest and fastest way to find out the citations of the research paper. It only shares the analytics of the times the research paper is cited in other works and provides access to the abstracts of the other articles that have cited this research paper.
  • Related articles: Helps you find similar articles on your topic of interest
  • All versions: As a reader, using this feature, you can explore the author's past versions of the research paper and keenly refer to the latest updates of the article.
  • Create Alert: You can create instant alerts for the intended topics.
  • Auto-add: It automatically updates all your latest publications to your profile. However, this can also lead to author ambiguity and show wrong publications on your profile. But don't despair; you can manually remove unwanted articles from your profile.
  • Add Co-authors: You can also add your co-authors who have already created their profiles on the platform and keep your profile and publications updated.

The plugin provides direct access to Google Scholar from any webpage. It helps you find and access full-text research articles on the web page or in university libraries.

  • Install or add the extension to your browser.
  • Search for any research papers on Google Scholar or the university library database.
  • Now, select the article title and click the GS button to find the article.
  • You will get the article that you can save for later or click on the cite quotes option, choose the preferred references style, and export it in the required format.

The extension works differently for On-campus and Off-campus library links. You can customize the settings (click on the gear icon) and use the extension. It's easier to find open-access articles when you are on campus. However, linking your library to Google Scholar search engine while off-campus would be most beneficial. Also, library links works great when you are on-campus.

So, how do the students link their universities to the search engine?

Let's unfold!

The advantages are more rhetorical when you link your university library to Google Scholar, as you can gain unrestricted access to the full-length articles and other e-materials or e-resources registered on your university database. If your university repository has cached the paywalled or subscription-based articles, you can quickly get access for free with your university ID.

Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Open Scholar Homepage >> Go to Menu >> Jump over to "Google Scholar Settings."

Step 2: Click on the "Library Links" option >> Next to the library links enter your University name >> Check the box next to your university name. Don't forget to check the Open WorldCat box to access all the papers listed in your database.

Step 3: Click save

Step 4: Go back to the search bar >> Type any topic or article >> Shows the results.

Step 5: On the right-hand side of the result, you will find a link to the paper that is accessible from your university library (This is not the case for all the articles, for a few, you might not get any link mentioned, but you could use the ">> (more)" option to find it or access it)

Step 6: You will be redirected to your university library database upon clicking the link. Login using the credentials and find the paper!

More or less, the linking procedure remains the same for most university records. However, even after multiple attempts, if you did not get the article, you can request the article from your University; they will help you find or get it from another source!

Remember, linking your University to this database will not provide access to all the e-resources. For subject-specific or complex and in-depth paper discovery, you must explore subject-specific or individual subject databases at your University.

Few quick examples:

The Catholic University of America

The University of Texas at San Antonio

How to connect Google Scholar to the Walden Library

How to find articles on Google Scholar?

We all know that Google Scholar links most research papers to commercial journals or publishers. Once you have accessed the platform via Google Scholar login and when you search for an article on the query bar, the results would consist of only the abstract of the paper and citation information with a link redirecting to its publisher. Thus, the results would predominantly include paywalled papers.

If you are accessing it from your University, here is how you find the research paper:

On-Campus: It's easier than ever; Login to your university repository, open the link https://scholar.google.com and start searching! You will find the desired or interested papers.

Off-Campus: First, you must link your University to the Google Scholar account. Then, connect to your university VPN and start surfing for the paper that you have been looking for.

If you are accessing it as an individual author without any affiliation to the University, here is how you find it:

Step 1: Search for any keyword or topic on the search bar; it's a good practice to use quote marks for faster discovery.

Step 2: You could find the article in the first SERP if the article is available on the database.

Step 3: Click on the article title; it will take you to the publisher's site. You could access the article based on its accessibility (free or paid).

Step 4: You can use the link, refer to it, and cite it if it's free. If it's paid, you can use the link to buy or pay for the access.

How to cite a reference using Google Scholar?

Google Scholar provides a hassle-free feature to cite a reference in different citation styles quickly. You can mention the paper you have been eyeing by using the option "Cite" right beneath the article description. Sometimes, you will get it by clicking on the "more" option.

Click on the "cite" feature; you will get a dialogue box with different citation styles, including APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and Vancouver. You can copy and paste them on paper or export them in various formats.

how-to-cite-a-reference-using-google-scholar
How to Cite a Reference on Google Scholar

How to export the citations to the citation manager?

Google Scholar search provides you with various citation export formats, including BibTeX, EndNote, RefMan, RefWorks, Zotero, Mendeley, and more.

Its default bibliography manager is set to BibTeX. You can change the settings to export references to the desired format.

Follow the steps to change the settings:

>> Go to Menu
>> Click on Settings (gear icon)
>> Bibliography Manager
>> Choose the option "Show links to import citation links into"
>> Pick the reference management app you want from the drop-down menu. BibTeX would be set as the default one.

Now, you can find the “import link” activated, and the moment you click on the desired format, it gets downloaded, and you can save it appropriately.

Also read: Things To Keep in Mind While Citing

How to export in different formats?

Formats 

Steps to export

SAVE filenames/extensions

Connectors/Browser Bookmarklets/Web Importers

BibTeX

  • Click on Cite 

  • Click on BibTeX

  • Save the file (Ctrl+S)

.txt 

EndNote

  • Click on Cite 

  • Click on EndNote

  • Save the file (Ctrl+S)

.enw 

RefMan

  • Click on Cite 

  • Click on RefMan

  • Save the file (Ctrl+S)

.ris 

Zotero

Zotero has its own connectors or bookmarklets. By installing the browser button, you can easily export the publications library. 

Mendeley

Mendeley supports a web importer with which you can export the preferred publications. 


RefWorks

RefWorks provides an add-on which is a browser bookmarklet called "save to RefWorks," where you can save your references directly from the web pages.


What are the limitations and criticisms of Google Scholar?

Among numerous academic search engines, Google Scholar is often regarded as one of the largest bibliographic databases that have swiftly transformed the era of basic or fundamental data access to scientific data access.

It is no joke that the database has gained popularity and created a buzz around the scholarly communication world since its onset (2004). Of course, it adheres to a guarded algorithm to show the research articles and is equipped with a series of updates on the platform. Still, tailgating the competitor's or other academic databases and accommodating the Google Scholar advanced search features has become a blocker lately and affecting its credibility and reputation.

The valuable updates and more user-friendly platform of competitor's site have set a high bar for Google, which is challenging to cross the pathway.

So, what are the limiting factors of it?

1. Criteria for assessing or evaluating the sources?

It is essential to consider multiple evaluation factors while assessing any novel research paper before indexing. But, there is no technical information about the criteria or approach used to include the scholarly source in the database. Thus, the quality of the paper remains obscure to the audience.

Google scholar is regarded as the world's comprehensive bibliography database; reflecting all the "scholarly" sources without evaluation and assessment is inappropriate. Ideally, it does include all the scholarly SERP pages ranging from high-quality publications to mediocre content concealed within.

2. Ranking algorithm distortion

It looks biased and impartial if we speak about the ranking or the indexing algorithm of Scholar. The results it yields are highly dependent on the citation counts, so the first SERP results would include the papers with more citations, and the reader would likely proceed with the paper and ignore the papers with the least counts. As a result, it will affect many novel research papers that might go unnoticed in the database because of low citation counts. Thus, it affects the visibility and accreditation of both budding authors and their articles.

3. In need of more filtering options

google-scholar-advance-search-options
Google Scholar Advance search options

Scholar has a huge database of 389 Million papers, but it lacks the filtering options that other search engines like SciSpace (Formerly Typeset) provide. Finding a relevant article among 300M+ documents with minimal filtering options is not worthwhile.

It lacks the following features:

  • Direct search options via papers, Authors, Conferences, Institutions, topics, etc.
  • Lack of options to select a PDF or open access (which SciSpace has and that deliberately takes the searchers to their desired set of papers for free and you don't have to pay for most of the papers)
  • Lacks the "Sort by" all criteria option (with SciSpace, anybody can find the article based on the citation counts, newest, oldest, or even in alphabetical order)
  • Filtering out the desired data based on the type, author, institution, and year.
  • The option for quick link sharing on social media platforms (which SciSpace exhibits)

4. Free Access to the papers? Or only to the abstracts?

The highly critiqued question these days! Though Google Scholar has made its mark with an emblem of "finding infinite research papers," the question here is, "Are the articles available on the database completely free," or how do we even access them for free?

No! The search engine is only responsible for giving you the research papers based on the keywords. So, the results would include both freely accessible and paywalled articles.

Most of the content on the platform is from commercial journals or publishers' worlds, allowing us to access only the abstract and not the entire article. But, this is not the case with SciSpace. In SciSpace discover, you will find most of the freely available papers in PDFs, and you can access them and cite them for free.

5. Prone to Cyber sleuths, spam, and gaming!

The authentication process needs to be even more stringent in Scholar. People are creating fake profiles, adding fake papers or duplicate papers on their profiles, and gaining counterfeit citations.

According to the study conducted by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, the documents created on SCIgen are getting indexed by Google Scholar, providing more citation counts and quantifying the researcher's h-index and impact factors with a good score, which is against the ethics and a question of the platform's reliability? Thereby manipulating the h-index and impact factors.

6. Lack of dynamic citation graphs view

The static portrayal of academic search engines is faded now. Lately, the ocean of scholarly publications has been flooded with numerous papers. Presenting them in 3D or visual citation graphs or citation information would be fruitful for the readers and help them easily squeeze in the required information. One such example is connected graphs, which allow you to create a graph or map of your shortlisted papers required for the literature review and help you compare, analyze, and get the required information from them quicker and faster. Though the feature has great benefits, currently most databases lack it including Google Scholar. However, SciSpace is in the process of integrating this feature into its website, thereby preparing the academic world for graph-based browsing.

7. Amass of information clutter

When you conduct any Google Scholar search, you will sometimes find fragmentary, hodgepodge, and even duplicated results. The output might also include different versions of the published article or preprints, so the decluttering and heuristic nourishment are still lacking on the platform.

8. Includes predatory journals

Google Scholar makes an effort to index as many publications as it can. As a part, it is also enclosing predatory journals contributing to the contamination of authentic scientific resources. There should be some approach or use of NLP to avoid this.

9. Erroneous search results

Google Scholar has trouble identifying works on the other sites precisely; thus, the output includes scattered and zombie information, causing inaccurate additional results. The mixed case and the interpunctuation characters in the article titles confuse the results, and authors are given the wrong papers. Sometimes, a few sloppy output are presented without apparent justification. The best example would be indexing the arXiV preprint site.

10. Lacks mapping to Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

The basic user interface and lack of Google Scholar advanced search features on Google Scholar fail to provide the information relevant to clinical practice or medicine as MEDLINE offers. Ideally, the database would be of little or no use to clinicians. Instead, clinicians are using SciSpace to get the relevant piece of information on medical library association, clinical practice, and more.

11. No systematic and timely content feeding

Google Scholar doesn't crawl scholarly content regularly like SciSpace and Scopus databases. It falls behind in indexing the articles and keeping the database up to date. It is almost a full year behind from indexing PubMed entries. So, we cannot rely on this database to retrieve clinical practice data or records.

12. Lack of claim-level analysis

Those who have explored Scite.ai might have understood the preface of claim-level analysis. Google Scholar emphasizes the citation-based algorithm to produce the results. But, when you are performing a literature review, the citation-level study doesn't serve the purpose of providing relevant articles as the paper could or could not have supported the claim of your topic of interest.

To dodge this, Scite.ai has implemented the new NLP algorithm or tools that support the retrieval process) to sort the results based on supporting or contrasting claims. It helps the users to include or select relevant publications. However, this NLP doesn't work the same or yield accurate results for all the cases, and the effectiveness is still being investigated. But, users are in favor of using this claim-level analysis approach.

Likewise, myriad other limiting factors must be addressed to stand on top among competitors like SciSpace, Scopus, Web of Science, and more. Hence, the users are requesting the Google Scholar advanced search features and pitching the support team about the discrepancies and ambiguities happening on the platform.

Although it is a limited tool and not as comprehensive as it claims to be, the Google Scholar database is a decent tool that delivers results quicker and faster. You will have to wait for what it has in store for you in the future!

What is the future of Google Scholar Database?

google-scholar-future

The advantage of being an exhaustive database is itself a disadvantage here. Because a single query would fetch thousands of articles that might or might not be relevant, factoring out the irrelevant papers is another ball game. So, the database needs to work on the serendipity process to minimize scanning thousands of irrelevant or other documents by implementing recommended engines.

In the present scenario, other databases like Web of Science and Scopus essentially play with NLP and API for automatic data retrieval of papers and profiles. Google Scholar database should level up the retrieval game by integrating an AI-based or API interface to act smarter and stay connected with the reader's demands.

The research discovery should be made simpler and user-friendly by showing the full-length scientific data directly rather than sharing only the abstracts of the paper. On the flip side, it would be difficult for the Google Scholar team as they work more with commercial publishers and can only lead users to the abstract, not the full text (for paywalled articles). Again, this needs to be sorted out.

As of now, it is merely a basic search engine that crawls all the academic content published on the web. Sometimes, it even crawls the latest version of the existing article as a new paper and indexes it to the database, which could impact the author's credibility and citation counts. So, users are in quest of a better Google Scholar database that encompasses all the above-discussed pointers.

Technically, the infrastructure must be standardized to align with the researcher's needs. The upshots should promote scientific discovery and support the user's novel idea.

Overall, the quality of the content, ambiguities, lack of transparency, and disingenuous results need to be evaded on the platform.

The Best Alternatives to Google Scholar

Web of Science, Scopus, and SciSpace are said to be the best alternatives. But, Web of Science and Scopus only help you find the research articles, whereas SciSpace, is the world's largest scientific indexing database with 270M+ research articles (primarily open access). It also showcases 280M+ authors' profiles, and you will get free access to an exhaustive repository of research papers that are completely indexed and enriched.

SciSpace is the researcher's very own space where you come for research discovery, complete the literature review, draft your manuscript, use our submission templates, auto-format, and submit on our platform. It is more than just an academic search engine.

scispace-by-typeset

With SciSpace, you will get,

  • Best-in-class search and recommendation abilities.
  • Tailored recommendations and extracted information from PDFs, significantly enhancing the discovery and filtering process.
  • The required advanced features are where you can land on the relevant data that you need.
  • Rich analytics on the paper's views, downloads, and citation counts.

It is the only integrated research platform where academicians can discover, write (effortless writing and auto-formatting), publish, and disseminate their research papers.

Academicians have acknowledged our database and incorporated SciSpace research papers into their universities worldwide, including the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Nanyang Technological University, Daffodil International University, and more.

The latest feature on SciSpace? "Trace this paper."

Explore SciSpace's Latest Feature "Trace this paper"

The expanded view of the feature "Trace this Paper"


The most crucial feature of SciSpace aids the research discovery process by keeping all the related papers visually on par. Yes, it keeps your literature review woes at bay by providing a hassle-free or click-click method to access all the relevant papers on a single page. With this feature, you can explore the related papers, citations, references, author details, contributing institutions, and related topics in no time.

Curious to know more about it and explore the feature by yourselves?

Head over to SciSpace discover page and search for any paper!

Frequently Asked Questions about Google Scholar

1. Are google scholar citations accurate?

Google Scholar citations are prone to manipulation and inaccurate as it indexes all the academic content on the web regardless of version history, duplicates, name ambiguities, and more. Anything cited by the research paper, be it a blog or an excerpt, would be considered a gained citation.

2. Are google scholar articles credible?

The lack of transparency or the non-disclosure of its indexing algorithm on how the content is included in the database makes it less ideal for literature reviews and systematic reviews.

3. Is google scholar reliable?

There is no proper validation of sources on Scholar, so its reliability is still being questioned.

4. Is google scholar free to use?

Yes! The platform is free to use. You can search and discover research papers on the search engine. However, if the article is paywalled or subscription-based, you might have to follow their publishers' policy to access the research paper.

5. Is google scholar social networking?

It is not a social networking site; you can only find or discover publications on the site. But yes, you can create your academic profile on the platform and add any of your co-authors but interacting with other users is not attainable.

6. Can google scholar find conference proceedings?

You can surely find conference proceedings and conference papers. If you want to search within a particular conference, you will have to hover over the Google Scholar advanced search features and then search for them.

7. What do I do if I can't access google scholar?

The access errors can be for various reasons. Depending on the error, you can reach out to their support team.

8. How often does Google Scholar get updated?

For new papers, it gets updated regularly (day or weekly basis). For existing papers, it takes a minimum of 6-8 months to update the paper.

9. How to find research articles on google scholar?

Go to the website, input the desired paper and click on search. If the database has indexed the article, you will get it on top of the page. Else, you can discover it on SciSpace seamlessly.

10. Why is google scholar not showing my paper?

It depends on multiple factors, including accessibility (should be hosted on academic pages), publication period (it might take weeks or months to get indexed), transparency (the abstract or full-text should be made available to the users), formats (should be available in .PDF format) or size (shouldn't exceed more than 5 MB)

11. Why is google scholar not updating citations?

It takes several months to update the Google Scholar citations. So, you need to wait for it to get reflected. Also, the citation counts will not reflect if the article that has cited your paper is not indexed on this academic database.

12. Can we rely on Google scholar for grey literature?

You can refer to some of the top results, but it shouldn't be the go-to or only source for grey literature.

13. Are google scholar articles peer-reviewed?

The articles are not entirely peer-reviewed; it also indexes preprints, grey literature, and other scholarly materials that are not peer-reviewed.

You can click on the Case Law button on the home page and find the required information on legal research. However, the information accuracy is not assured by Google.

15. How can I access google scholar without institutional email?

You can easily access and search for any research paper without any email address or account. You will need an institutional email only if you want to indicate a verified status on your scholar profile.

16. Can I create a google scholar account without Gmail?

You cannot create an account without Gmail, but you can explore the platform and discover any research papers without creating an account.

17. How does the google scholar alert work?

Once you have set up the alert query, email, and the number of search results on the "create alert" feature, you will be notified via email of your alert preferences.

18. What is google scholar case law?

Google Scholar case law provides access to judicial branch laws or common law based on written opinions by appellate courts.

19. Does google scholar show the journals list?

There is no clear picture of the journals listed on the search engine. But, it shows the list of top publications under the feature "Metrics".