Use Google Scholar when you want to take advantage of these features:
- broad disciplinary coverage
- a popular relevance ranking algorithm
- Google Scholar citation counts (often higher than analogous numbers in Web of Science and Scopus)
- links to full text -- not only YaleLinks but also through free websites like ResearchGate
Be aware of these potential issues:
- Do you plan to download citations from Google Scholar into your reference manager, like EndNote or Zotero? You can only download one citation at a time; use another database (PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus) for time-saving batch citation downloads.
- If the YaleLinks link does not appear automatically, set it up in your account with these easy directions.
- Are you working on a systematic review or meta-analysis? You can use Google Scholar as you're planning your search strategy; for the final version of your systematic search, you should use databases that provide more documentation about their scope and search algorithms.
Librarians teach regular workshops on Google Scholar; check here for upcoming sessions at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library and here for sessions presented by the Center for Science and Social Science Information.