Answered By: Kelly Blanchat
Last Updated: May 31, 2023     Views: 679

Q: Is it okay to use Google Scholar for my research?
Answered by: Kelly Blanchat

You can use Google Scholar for research, but it is important to be aware of its limitations:

Not everything in Google Scholar is "scholarly." Google Scholar can retrieve material appropriate for research, such as articles, case files, books, and patents. However, books are not typically peer-reviewed to fit into a strict definition of "scholarly." Google Scholar search filters also do not include an option to limit to only scholarly/peer-reviewed material. 

Tip: If you need to find scholarly articles, try Articles+ to search most of Yale Library's database subscriptions at once.

Google Scholar does not index everything. Inclusion in Google Scholar depends on a number of factors, ranging from URL referrals, metatags, hosting website, and even content scope. Anecdotally it has better coverage in the hard sciences. It also does not index anything in print, such as the 15 million print volumes held at Yale Library.

You might not have access to everything in Google Scholar search results. For instance, an e-book might not be available through Google Books or Yale Library might not have a subscription to access a particular article. There are also not links to Yale Library services like BorrowDirect or Interlibrary Loan in the search results.

While you are at Yale, you can connect to Yale Library's material - from books, scholarly articles, datasets, dissertations, digital collections, and more - by using Quicksearch at

Visit Yale Library on YouTube to learn about search engines specific to Yale Library.


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