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IAF/ECIC Library Orientation

Orientation for the Summer IAF, ECIC, iGem, and EIAF programs

What is Google Scholar

Google Scholar is the search company Google's engine for searching scholarly or academic materials. Google Scholar searches many publisher's journals, academic websites, institutional repositories, and other similar sources, including the ScienceDirect and JSTOR databases. In Google Scholar you can find:

  • journal articles
  • books
  • theses and dissertations
  • conference papers
  • other scholarly writing

Google Scholar is strongest in science, technology, and medicine.

Like regular Google, Google Scholar using a "relevance" algorithm to determine the ranking of the results. This takes into account the position of your search words in the titles, abstracts, and other descriptive material about the document.

The "Scholar" in Google Scholar is not the equivalent of the "Scholarly Journals" or "Peer-Reviewed Journals" check boxes in the databases. Scholarly in this case refers to non-commercial sites, like universities, and to publisher websites. Google Scholar does have scholarly and peer-reviewed articles, but also has non-reviewed articles and presentations, pre-prints (pre-publication versions of articles), reports, and a wide variety of other materials that exist on scholarly websites or have been cited in other scholarly works.

Adding Library Links in Google Scholar

You can set Google Scholar to recognize which school you are from.

  1. Click on the menu option (3 bar icon) in the upper left to access Scholar Settings. You can also access this on any results page. (Note: previous versions of Google Scholar had this option in the upper right.)
  2. On this page you can set the default collection, if results open in a new window, and if you want to use a citation manager like Endnote Web. To set library access, choose Library Links.

  3. Search for Southern Connecticut. The most important ones to add are 'Southern Connecticut State University--SCSU Journal Finder' and 'Southern Connecticut State University -- ViewIt@Southern'. Use both if they both show up, but either one will work alone. You can also search for and add other libraries if you have access to somewhere else.
  4. Click the Save button   at the top or bottom of the screen.
  5. Once you have the library links set and you do a search, you will see links to SCSU Journal Finder/ViewIt@Southern, which work like the Find Article @ SCSU links in our databases.

Be sure to check the main title link, which leads to the "official version", any other links, which often lead to freely accessible versions of the articles, AND the SCSU Journal Finder/ViewIt link, which will check if the article is accessible in our databases. 

What is Microsoft Academic

Microsoft Academic Search is Microsoft's version of a library database. It contains records for nearly 200 million articles (as of 2/2018). However, it's the way that MA treats those articles that is different from a traditional database. The articles have been analyzed for semantic content, not just indexed for keywords, so related concepts will automatically be searched together. This means the user is not as vulnerable to quirks in the authors' phrasing. MA also looks at the relationships between articles, based on references, citations, and authors, as well as "semantic similarity."

These videos will give you some ideas on how MA can be used. But the best way to explore this is to try it out. It's not quite like searching a regular database.

Introduction to MAS

Transcript coming soon