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Search methods & techniques: Get the most out of Google Scholar

Get the most out of Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a suite of tools for scholars. You can use it to search for scholarly publications, mainly journal articles, and access e-content in publisher’s websites, academic repositories, and libraries. To avoid publisher’s paywalls we recommend configuring the Google Scholar settings to show Library links so that you can access e-content licensed to the EUR Library. 
You can also configure Google Scholar search results to export references directly to a Bibliography manager. RefWorks is an online reference manager free to EUR students and staff.

Watch the video Get the most out of Google Scholar (2:25) and discover how to use this search engine effectively as an EUR student.

Advanced search

The Advanced Search in Google Scholar gives you more control over your search to find more relevant results by using filters and other parameters.

Decide for yourself which keywords should appear in the title or text of a journal article, or exclude search terms. You can also limit your results by date, journal or author.

To start the Advanced search, click on the Google Scholar menu (hamburger button, top left) then click Advanced search.

Searching by citations, related articles, and date

Cited by

Google Scholar lists the number of times an article has been cited. While this might give you some idea about the article’s impact, it is more helpful for your search because other scholars working on similar topics probably cited the paper, and these works citing the article will be more recent and might have better up to date information. If you click on “cited by,” this will take you to another page showing the articles which have cited the previous paper.



Related articles

Another way of discovering publications about your chosen topic, is to look at "Related articles." Clicking on this takes you to a list of other articles focusing on similar topics and themes which have been published before or after the publication date of the article you are looking at.


You can see that in this case the top three related articles are also the same as the top three articles from the "Cited by" section above.


Search by date

Searching by date can be another useful tool when using Google Scholar for research. If you are only interested in the most recent of articles, click “Sort by date,” which will order the results from newest to oldest, though the relevance of the articles might not be exactly what you are looking for.



To narrow the search but still keep the relevance of the articles high, click on one of the time frames such as, “Since 2023,” or type in your own timeframe by clicking on “custom range.”


Customize Google Scholar to connect to the library’s resources

Customize your Google Scholar settings to link to the Erasmus University Library’s collection. Click on the Settings link/Gear icon located at the top under the hamburger menu:

On the Settings page, click on Library links. Mark the Erasmus University Rotterdam as one of your library access links; if Erasmus University Rotterdam isn't listed use the search box to find it. Save your settings.

Google Scholar - Erasmus University Rotterdam selected under Library Links

Your search result in Google Scholar will display a FULL TEXT @ EUR link for those publications available from the EUR Library. Click the FULL TEXT @ EUR link, log in with your ERNA-account when prompted and access the publication:

Export citations to RefWorks

Manually collecting the information you need to create correct references can be a lot of work. There are tools available, called reference managers, to make this easier. A reference manager like RefWorks is very useful for two main reasons. They help you:

  • Manage your literature
  • Create and style in-text citations (or footnotes), reference lists and bibliographies

Google Scholar offers two ways to export citations to RefWorks:

OPTION 1:                                              

Click the Cite button to export a citation to RefWorks:

Select your version of RefWorks and log in if you haven't already. Your record will be downloaded automatically and should appear in the Last Imported folder.


On the Settings page, scroll down to the area called Bibliography manager. Select Refworks from the dropdown menu at Show links to import citations into and click Save.

Conduct your search in Google Scholar. An Import into Refworks button should be on each citation.

Click this button to add a citation to RefWorks. Select your version of RefWorks and log in if you haven't already. Your record will be downloaded automatically and should appear in the Last Imported folder.