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Introductory Biology

Why Use Google Scholar?

The Pros and Cons of Using Google Scholar

Pros: Google Scholar combines the ease of Google with access to scholarly materials. Google Scholar searches the Web for scholarly articles, abstracts and books, but not popular magazine, newspaper or Internet articles. It allows you to search multiple formats across multiple disciplines in one search.

Cons: Google Scholar doesn’t access everything in the library’s subscription databases, especially the most current information. Not everything is peer-reviewed, nor can you search or filter by peer-review status. Full- text versions of many items indexed by Google Scholar are not available for free through the Internet; however, many are accessible through the LSU Libraries' website.

The Bottom Line: Google Scholar is a great place to begin your search, but should not be the only place you search. Think of it as a resource you can use in addition to the LSU Libraries' catalog and databases.

How to use Google Scholar

Google Scholar searches for scholarly articles on the Internet, using Google’s familiar interface. Like regular Google it can generate THOUSANDS of results, even from resources the library does not have.


Still, Google Scholar is a powerful discovery tool. Here’s how to use it.


Go to


If you are off campus you will need to set your Scholar Preferences so that Google will provide a link to material that LSU Libraries owns.


First, click on the menu icon on the upper left:

google scholar menu icon

Second, choose Settings then Library links and type in Louisiana State University:


Now you are ready to search Scholar for material LSU owns.  If you are off campus you will need to log into your MyLSU account and then go to Google Scholar to access LSU owned materials.


Your results page should look like this:



Citations for articles are on the left. If LSU owns the article, a link will appear on the right.  The link will say “E-resources @ LSU”. If you are on campus it will lead you directly into the article. If you are off campus you will have to verify your identity by typing in your MyLSU name and password.


Remember that LSU does not own every single article that appears on Google Scholar. But, if there is not a link on the right side of the screen, you can make a request to borrow that article from another library using Interlibrary Loan.

Ask Us! if you have any questions about articles you find on Google Scholar.


Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

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