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Biological Sciences: 03-201: Undergraduate Colloquium for Sophomores: Google Scholar Tutorial

A guide on how to use biological sciences databases for research

Do a Simple Search in Google Scholar

Google Scholar is good for searching broadly since it contains content from all disciplines or for performing comprehensive searches since it pulls articles from most journals.

Let's start by going to Google Scholar and entering the search terms "development visual cortical neurons."

Things to note from this example:

  • Google Scholar defaults to sorting by relevance. 
  • Click Since Year to show recently published articles, sorted by relevance, or create a custom range of years (i.e. 2015-2018).
  • Click Sort by date to show the new additions, sorted by date.
  • Click the Create Alert envelope icon to have new results periodically delivered by email.
  • Click Related articles or Cited by to see closely related work
  • If you find a good article, put the author's name in the search bar to see what other articles they have published.

Locating the Full-Text of an Article

Abstracts are freely available for most of the articles. Reading the entire article may require a subscription, but CMU probably has subscriptions to journals you would be interested in using for this class. If you are on campus, you can click directly on the title of the article to get full-text and PDFs on the publisher's website or you can click on the [PDF] links on the right to go directly to a PDF.

Note: If you are off campus, you will usually need to login to the VPN to access full-text and PDFs. Follow the instructions here. Email if you are still having issues accessing articles.

Get more out of Google Scholar

Want to get more out of something you already use? Configure Google Scholar so you can access CMU licensed materials.