You might be thinking, though, that most University Library systems include many of the same features. And, with those databases available, why use Google Scholar? Well, Google Scholar, which it’s worth noting is a totally free service, does not need to take the place of university library databases. Instead, it should act as a supplement to the university databases that are already in place.
One of the most useful elements of Google Scholar is that university libraries have the capability to link up with the service. In doing so, Google Scholar will combine its own usual results with those that you would see if you had conducted a search on your own library’s database, saving you the trouble of needing to search twice and giving you the best results possible.
From there, Google Scholar users can locate the complete documents that they are looking for at their own libraries, or find them on the internet if available. Though the full text of some results requires the need to pay a fee, by combining Google Scholar with a University Library database, users are given the best chance possible to receive the highest quality documents at no charge.
If you’d like to see how Google Scholar works firsthand, as well as how it works in combination with a university library database, check out this helpful YouTube video from EMU Library:
Ron Bethke is an editorial intern with eCampus News.