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Google Smarter!

Welcome to the Google Smarter research guide.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar

Stand on the shoulders of giants.

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.  In other words, Google Scholar exclusively searches academic and scholarly sources that you can cite in a college-level research paper. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.

Google Scholar at SWU

VIDEO: Using Google Scholar

Google Scholar legal documents

Google Scholar

You can search legal documents in Google Scholar.  Be sure to check the "Case law" button.  Google Scholar has acquired the "published opinions of US state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791".  You can't search the cases just by "Googling".  You have to go to Google Scholar and choose "Case law" specifically.

Google Scholar settings

Google Scholar settings


Google Scholar is a handy tool for searching academic articles from a variety of sources across many disciplines. However, if you're using it from off-campus, you'll often get prompted to pay for the full text of articles. In many cases, these are articles that you can freely access as a student at Southern Wesleyan University through one of the library's many subscription databases or journals.

Happily, you can use Google Scholar's Library Links feature to explicitly identify yourself as a SWU student. This allows you to discover full text library resources directly through Google Scholar results.

To identify yourself as a SWU student, click the Gear Icon in the right-hand corner of the Google Scholar search screen. You should end up here:

Google Scholar settings

Click Library Links. In the Library Links search box, type Southern Wesleyan and click the Magnifying Glass Icon. This should result in a "Southern Wesleyan University, Rickman Library - E-resources @ SWU" checkbox.

Google Scholar library links

Make sure this box is checked and click Save. Now, when you run searches in Google Scholar, you should see a link E-Resources @ SWU to the right.  Login to the Databases at Rickman Library page, as you normally login to any computer at SWU.

Using "Cited By" in Google Scholar

Use the "Cited by" link to find articles and books that cite your original result.

The cited by feature is a great way to find more recent articles and to trace an idea from its original source up to the present.


1. Start by locating a single item in Google Scholar.

2. Look for the "cited by" number at the bottom of the result.

3. Click the "Cited by" link to see all of the items that cite your original item. Older and more influential items will have a higher number of "cited by" results.

You can limit these "Cited by" results by either searching for keywords within the results, or limiting the date range.