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Biology Lab: Google Scholar

This research guide will provide you with resources and links to aid you during your biology lab work.

Work in Progress

This tab on Google Scholar is still being built. You'll find new material here every few days or so. Contact Dan Chibnall if you have important questions in the meantime. 

Getting to Know: Google Scholar

Tips for Using Google Scholar


What makes it helpful?

    •    Assisting you in finding journal titles and important authors associated with your topic or subject area. 

    •    Locating lesser known literature like a conference proceeding or documents on a university department website. 

    •    Providing you with an alternative source of full-text (sometimes) to citations that may not be available through your university. 

    •    Helping you flesh-out a partial citation. 


What are some of the limits of Google Scholar?

    •    You cannot search by particular departments or disciplines. It's just one, big search. 

    •    There is no tool for browsing publications by their titles. 

    •    There are no ways to effectively limit search results other than by year.

    •    It mainly searches .edu websites and does not guarantee full-text access. 


What should you remember when searching Google Scholar? 

    •    There may be thousands of results provided but most of the full-text is going to come from Drake University databases. You may encounter full-text from something the author uploaded themselves or from an Open Access Journal, but those are few and far between. 

    •    Even though Google Scholar's name indicates all of the search results are top-quality, that is not the case. Some of the results you will see will simply be from unpublished sources, a PDF or Excel spreadsheet, or just a document on a .edu website. 

    •    Databases in Cowles Library are still your best bet for finding the best search results. Just make sure to search carefully, know what kind of database you're searching in, and ask for help from your librarian or professor. 

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