The Pros and Cons of Using Google Scholar
Pros: Google Scholar combines the ease of Google with access to scholarly materials. Google Scholar searches the Web for scholarly articles, abstracts and books, but not popular magazine, newspaper or Internet articles. It allows you to search multiple formats across multiple disciplines in one search.
Cons: Google Scholar doesn’t access everything in the library’s subscription databases, especially the most current information. Not everything is peer-reviewed, nor can you search or filter by peer-review status. Full- text versions of many items indexed by Google Scholar are not available for free through the Internet; however, many are accessible through the LMU Library website.
The Bottom Line: Google Scholar is a great place to begin your search, but should not be the only place you search. Think of it as a resource you can use in addition to the LMU Library catalog and databases.
Google Scholar searches for scholarly articles on the Internet, using Google’s familiar interface. Like regular Google it can generate THOUSANDS of results, even from resources the library does not have. You should learn to use Google Scholar cautiously. Keep in mind that the library has hundreds of databases full of scholarly resources that are paid with your tuition. In most cases, the library databases will be sufficient for your research papers.
Still, Google Scholar is a powerful discovery tool. Here’s how to use it.
If you are off campus you will need to set your Scholar Preferences so that Google will provide a link to material that LMU owns.
Click on the small gear icon that is in the upper right corner of the screen.
In Scholar Preferences find the section that says Library Links and type in Loyola Marymount University.
It should look like this.
Now you are ready to search Scholar for material LMU owns.
Your results page should look like this:
Citations for articles are on the left. If LMU owns the article, a link will appear on the right. The link will say “Full-Text @ LMU Library”. If you are on campus it will lead you directly into the article. If you are off campus you will have to verify your identity by typing in your MYLMU name and password.
Remember that LMU does not own every single article that appears on Google Scholar. But if there is no link on the right side of the screen, you can make a request to borrow that article from another library using Document Delivery.
Ask a librarian if you have any questions about articles you find on Google Scholar.
If a search result indicates [BOOK], see if it is available through the LMU Library.