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Google Scholar

This guide looks at the advantages and disadvantages of using Google Scholar

Configure Google Scholar to embed FindIt@Bham links within search results

You can access Google Scholar either directly, or via FindIt@Bham.

Once you are in Google Scholar you can configure Scholar's settings to embed FindIt@Bham links within the search results for journal articles.

To do this:

  • Go to the 3 horizontal lines in the top left of the screen and select ‘Settings’ 
  • Select ‘Library links’ from the drop-down list
  • Type 'University of Birmingham’ into the search box and search
  • Select ‘University of Birmingham – FindIt@Bham’, and 'Save'.

Google Scholar SettingsGoogle Scholar Library Links in Settings

You can also use the Settings area to set preferences for results display by clicking on ‘Search results’ and ‘Languages’ in the left-hand menu.

Finding full text (i.e. getting hold of the article)

There are links to full-text journal articles in Google Scholar, but many of these articles need to be paid for unless the Library has a subscription to the journal in which they are published or they are in an Open Access repository. Configuring the FindIt@Bham settings in Google Scholar using the method above means that a FindIt@Bham link is embedded within the results for journal articles.

Google Scholar search results with FindIt@Bham link embedded on right-hand side of results

Selecting the FindIt@Bham link prompts FindIt@Bham to check whether the library has subscribed access to the journal article you have discovered in your Google Scholar search results.

If the Library does not subscribe to the journal in which the article is published, you may still be able to see a free version of the paper if it is in an Open Access repository. To locate such free articles you will need to click on the link to other versions e.g. all 6 versions » which occurs after the title if present, as highlighted in the image below.

A Google Scholar result with the All 6 Versions button highlighted

If there is no subscription and no free version of the article, it is possible that we have a print copy of the journal in which the article is published. To find out if we do, you need to search for the title of the journal in FindIt@Bham.

N.B. You will only see the FindIt@Bham link next to results for journal articles. If the result is a book or book chapter, you will need to perform a separate search for the title in FindIt@Bham to check whether the library holds a copy of the book either in print or electronically.

How to get hold of full text we do not subscribe to

If there is a book or journal article that you have found via Google Scholar that we do not have access to at University of Birmingham, you can either visit another university library using the SCONUL Access scheme, or request an Interlibrary Loan to see if we can source a copy from another library.

Interlibrary Loans are currently free of charge (August 2023), but a charge will be made for any uncollected or unconsulted items. See Inter-library Loans and Document Supply for full details and updates.

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