By Marta Bladek
During my sabbatical last year, I relied heavily on remote access to the Library’s resources to do my research. Being able to find and work with scholarly resources from home was a great convenience. There were a few research strategies that were essential to making my work efficient and organized. Working with Google Scholar was one of them. I am sharing a couple of quick tips in the hope that other faculty may find them useful as well.
Customizing Google Scholar to get full-text articles
Although Google Scholar has its shortcomings and is not a comprehensive search engine for scholarly information, it offers an easy and familiar way to access full-text articles available through the Library. One way to accomplish that is to get to Google Scholar directly from the Library home page [Figure 1]. Google Scholar is listed on the drop-down menu of our most popular databases. When accessed and searched this way, Google Scholar displays results with a note indicating full-text availability through the Library.
Customizing your own Google Scholar settings is another way to keep track of which results are quickly viewable because the Library subscribes to them. To activate this off-campus feature you have to follow a few simple steps.
On the Google Scholar search page:
- Click on the menu button and then click Settings.
- Select Library links and search for John Jay College.
- Check off all three available options in the search results, then click Save. [Figure 2]
- When the full text of an article is available through a Library subscription, a Full View or Find JJ Fulltext link on the right. [Figure 3]
Clicking on Full View or Find JJ Fulltext will take you to the full-text version of the article.
Another useful feature in Google Scholar settings is the Button browser plugin (it is available as an add-in in all the popular browsers). You can install the Scholar Button to look up scholarly articles when you search online without having to search Google Scholar itself. [Figure 4] Not only will you get the scholarly resources highlighted in your search results, but you will also be able to get ready citations (in APA or another style).
These quick customizations add more flexibility and efficiency to the search process, but it is worth remembering that, as tempting as it may be, don’t stick with Google Scholar alone. It is merely one of the resources to explore while researching. The Library offers many additional databases and indexes. When combined, these resources offer a much more comprehensive view of the scholarly landscape than relying on any one of them alone can.
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