Google Scholar provides a simple way to search for scholarly literature (peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, and articles) from a variety of sources such as academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, and universities. Search results are sorted depending upon the full text of each article, the author, the publication in which the article appears, and how often the piece has been cited. This helps to ensure that the items most relevant to researchers appear on the first page. For more details, see About Google Scholar.
Cline Library developed this "optimized" NAU interface to Google Scholar so that no matter how you're connected to the Internet — through the NAU network or from an non-NAU home or office connection — you will have access from the search results to Cline Library book holdings, the full text of items in one or more licensed databases, or to a library Request Materials form for ordering copies. If you're a non-NAU network user, the first time you search you will be prompted to authenticate with your NAU ID and password.
Basic searching: Type in your search words, e.g., forests logging biofuels, and click Go! or press Enter (there is no need to include operators like and between words). By default, Google Scholar will return results from the entire index of scholarly literature covering all subject areas.
Return items by subject area: Optionally, you can check one or more subject areas of interest to limit results to those relevant fields. For example, by entering forests logging biofuels and checking "Biology, Life Sciences, and Environmental Science," you would see more items emphasizing biological and environmental aspects, and fewer on other aspects like the business of logging or engineering issues.
Return items published between specified years: Optionally, you can enter a range of years, e.g., 2006 - 2008, to limit results to just those items published in the specified range. See also Google Scholar's Advanced Search Tips.
Links to full text and library resources in search results: Depending upon the type of item that shows up in the search results and where it's located, you may see links to a full-text .pdf document, or resources that can help you locate it either online or at a library (see the sample search results below):
- Click on nau.edu [pdf] to download the full-text .pdf document available from NAU
- Click on Check for Full-Text for a screen with links to Cline Library licensed databases that provide access to the item; you can also request it through Cline Library's Request Materials service
- Click on Cited by... to see the articles and documents that cite the item.
(For more information on understanding search results, see Google Scholar Help.)