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Occupational Therapy - Dallas

Occupational therapy research guide for TWU Dallas students, faculty and staff.

Intro to Google Scholar

Google Scholar logo

Google Scholar is a reputable database that you are welcome to use for your research--unlike Google search. This is because Google Scholar draws from scholarly sources whereas a Google search searches the internet.

"Google Scholar includes scholarly articles from a wide variety of sources in all fields of research, all languages, all countries, and over all time periods...The content hosted on your website must consist primarily of scholarly articles - journal papers, conference papers, technical reports, or their drafts, dissertations, pre-prints, post-prints, or abstracts. Content such as news or magazine articles, book reviews, and editorials is not appropriate for Google Scholar." Google Scholar


Google Scholar

One of the flaws of Google Scholar is that it has very limited limiters. Those that it does offer are not immediately obvious to see and are located in the 'advanced search'. The advanced search will allow you to limit your search by:

  • Title, your keywords have to appear in the title of the article.
  • Author, you can specify an author you want to look for
  • Published, you can specify what journal or book you want to search in
  • Date range, you can specify what dates you want your article to have been published in between.

To get to the advanced search:

Click on the 'main menu" icon 

                        Main menu icon

Select 'advanced search' from the left hand side of your screen.

Advanced search icon

Choose which limiters you want from the pop up box.

Google Scholar advanced search pop up box




To exclude a term from your search, include a hyphen before that word.

Example: dolphins-football.

Will look for articles about dolphins the animal and not dolphins the football team.

To automatically include synonyms in your search, use a tilde ~.

Example: music~classes.

Will look for articles about music classes, music lessons, music coaching et cetera.

To search within a specific website only, after your keyword type 'site:website of your choice'.

Example: heart attack

Will look for articles about heart attack  only on the site Pubmed

|a vertical line serves the same purpose as OR in a regular search. You can also just use the Boolean operator OR.

Example Netflix|Hulu.

Will search for the keyword terms Netflix or Hulu.

To look for articles within a specified date range, use 2 periods within 2 number ranges.

Example: movies 1980..2000.

Will look for articles published between 1980 and 2000.

To find news related to a particular location, after your keyword type 'location:location of your choice'.

Example: Covid location:sanfrancisco

Will look for articles about Covid in San Francisco.

To search for a specific file type such as .pdfs, after your keyword type 'filetype:file type of your choice'.

Example: heart attack filetype:pdf

Will look for .pdf articles about the subject of heart attack

To run a adjacency search, meaning one keyword has to be within a specified amount of words to another keyword.

Example: microbiome AROUND(3) cancer

Will look for articles where the keywords 'microbiome' and 'cancer' no more than three words apart at some location in the text.




Email Alerts

How do I sign up for email alerts?

Do a search for the topic of interest, e.g., "M Theory"; click the envelope icon in the sidebar of the search results page; enter your email address, and click "Create alert". We'll then periodically email you newly published papers that match your search criteria.

How do I get notified when my papers are cited?

This works best if you create a public profile, which is free and quick to do. Once you get to the homepage with your photo, click "Follow" next to your name, select "New citations to my articles", and click "Done". We will then email you when we find new articles that cite yours.

How do I get notified when a particular paper is cited?

Search for the title of your paper, e.g., "Anti de Sitter space and holography"; click on the "Cited by" link at the bottom of the search result; and then click on the envelope icon in the left sidebar of the search results page.

How do I get notified of new papers published by my competitors, err, respected colleagues?

First, do a search for your colleague's name, and see if they have a Scholar profile. If they do, click on it, click the "Follow" button next to their name, select "New articles by this author", and click "Done".

If they don't have a profile, do a search by author, e.g., [author:s-hawking], and click on the mighty envelope in the left sidebar of the search results page. If you find that several different people share the same name, you may need to add co-author names or topical keywords to limit results to the author you wish to follow.

How often do you send the alerts?

We send the alerts right after we add new papers to Google Scholar. This usually happens several times a week, except that our search robots meticulously observe holidays.

How do I unsubscribe?

There's a link to cancel the alert at the bottom of every notification email.

How do I change my alerts?

If you created alerts using a Google account, you can manage them all here. If you're not using a Google account, you'll need to unsubscribe from the individual alerts and subscribe to the new ones."

Source Google Scholar

Sadly, Google Scholar does not offer the option of exporting 'all' article results. Instead articles have to be selected one at a time, sent to the 'My library' section, and exported from there. 

  • After you run your search, in this case "peanut butter and jelly day", scroll through the results and click on the star icon underneath an article to send it to your library. 

Google Scholar export 1

  • Go to the 'My library' icon located on the top right side of your screen and just beneath your profile picture. Click on it.

Google export 'my library' icon

  • Select from the articles stored in your 'library' Click on the export icon which looks like an arrow pointing downwards. Select the citation manager you wish to create a file for. The file will be sent to your hard drive, typically to the downloads folder unless otherwise specified.

Google Scholar export 3

  • Open the citation manager of your choice and upload the newly created file from your hard drive.



As your scroll through your articles, you will see some have a 'cited by' icon located underneath them. Clicking on the 'cited by' icon will pull up a list of all articles that have cited the original work.

Google Scholar 'cited by' feature

This is a wonderful way of finding research relevant to a topic, similar to using a paper's citation page to find which articles the author used. The main difference here is that when you use a paper's citation page the articles listed are always going to be older so you are 'going back in time'; whereas, with the 'cited by' feature you are going to get newer articles so are 'going forwards in time'.


Google allows you to link other libraries to your search!

This way you aren't just searching Google Scholar but you are also searching the holdings of the library you added.

To link other libraries:

Go to the 'menu' icon located on the top left hand side of Google Scholar. It looks like three stacked bars. I have also heard it described as the hamburger icon.

Google Scholar 'main menu' icon

Go to the 'settings' icon. It looks like a small cogwheel on the bottom left hand side of the screen.

Google Scholar settings icon


Click on 'library links' and type in the name of a library whose collection of materials you want adding to your search.

Google Scholar linking a library