Physical Geography & Environmental Sciences: Google Scholar

This guide provides selected references & resources to support the Physical Geography & Environmental Sciences covering the areas of Environment & Physical Geography..

Google Scholar

google scholar image
image: http://scholar.google.com.au/

Google Scholar and Endnote

Go to Google Scholar settings and select EndNote in the 'Bibliography Manager' section to create links to export citations into EndNote.

Note: citations can sometimes be inaccurate. Please check them carefully

Useful links

Evaluating webpages

The Monash University Language and Learning Online site demonstrates the finer points of Evaluating web pages. This page also has a printable PDF version (25kb)

Searching tips

Use the tips in the following document to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of your Google Scholar search

Where else can I search?

  • Google Scholar is a useful supplement to database research, but you should use the Library's databases to search for the high quality information that will be the basis of your research. The library's databases provide access to more comprehensive, authoritative and up-to-date information, and enable users to include better limits on searches for more precise results
  • MultiSearch, like Google Scholar, enables you to search multiple databases and catalogues simultaneously and link to full text journal articles
  • Try other search engines in addition to Google to widen your search. For information on various search engines see: Recommended Search Engines UC Berkeley - Teaching Library Internet Workshops

What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is a subset of Google which searches specifically for scholarly material on the web. 

It locates journal articles, theses and dissertations, books, conference papers and other research material from a variety of sources including academic publishers, professional societies, institutional repositories and databases.

Its coverage is strongest in science, technology and medicine.

Strengths:

  • Useful when searching "Grey Literature" such as conference proceedings, government reports, official statistical data (eg from the Australian Bureau of Statistics), transcripts and recordings of radio and TV broadcasts
  • Enables interdisciplinary searches
  • Accesses multiples types of documents (articles, books, conference proceedings)
  • Helps identify who is publishing in particular areas of research
  • Results are ranked by relevancy

Be aware that:

  • Content is not always equivalent to the scholarly or peer-reviewed content in databases
  • Difficult to perform a specific search with precise results
  • Gaps in coverage - a lot of information is not freely available on the web
  • Citations can be incomplete, and can only be exported one at a time

Monash staff and students can customise Google Scholar to enable them to link straight through to our full text from Google Scholar.

Productive academic research using Google Scholar

A wide range of academic quality documents and data can only be obtained from the Library databases.

Tips

  • Search Google Scholar to focus specifically on scholarly material such as academic books, working papers, journal articles and conference papers. Monash staff and students can customise Google Scholar to link to full text articles to which the library subscribes.  
  • For greater flexibility in designing your search, use Google Advanced Search, or Advanced Scholar Search (click the arrow in the Google Scholar search box to activate the Advanced Scholar Search screen).
  •  Develop and use a search strategy as you would when using a library database 
  • When searching for information from the Australian government, specify the domain: gov.au. To limit to Australian university sites use edu.au

google domain searching

  • Identify organizations that are recognised authorities on your topic, and visit their websites.
  • When you find a useful site, check if it provides links to related sites. They will probably provide information of a similar quality.
  • Critically evaluate the quality of material found on the internet .(see Links box below).
  • Save or print a page that you find useful - it may have changed or disappeared when you next search for it and a printout will include information you need for referencing (URL and date viewed).
  • Try other search engines in addition to Google. The database of each search engine can represent only a part of the total content of the web, so widen your search. Read search engines' online Help to be familiar with their features.(see Links box below).

Example of a Google Advanced search

Topic: Find government information on the impact of climate change on rural communities in Victoria.

A possible search strategy is:

victoria AND climate change AND (rural communities OR rural towns)

  • except for the exact word or phrase box, enter a phrase with quotation marks,

eg “rural towns”, “rural communities”

  • the search is limited to Australian government sites, gov.au
Google search string

Links

 

Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask
UC Berkeley - Teaching Library Internet Workshop

 

Recommended Search Engines
UC Berkeley - Teaching Library Internet Workshops

Google search string