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Special Education: Google Scholar

Google Scholar or Subject Databases?

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Google Scholar

Using Google Scholar is similar to fishing in the ocean. You will find and catch a wide variety of fish.

  • Google Scholar offers a wide variety of articles and resources on various subjects and topics.
  • Searching in Google Scholar can result in numerous hits with many being irrelevant to your specific subject or topic.

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Subject Databases

Using a Subject Specific database is similar to fishing in the New River. The New River specializes in a smaller variety of fish, and you are more likely to catch the type of fish you want.

  • Using a subject specific database helps to focus and narrow your search resulting in more relevant hits. 

Searching Google Scholar

Things to note:

  • Be sure to verify whether an article is peer-reviewed, as it is not readily noted in Google Scholar.
  • Use advanced search features to narrow your results. (Three horizontal lines in the upper left of the screen.)
  • Use the "Cited By" on an article that is a good fit for your topic to find publications that used that work.


Google Scholar or Subject Databases credit to Jewel Davis

Education Librarian

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Jennifer Woods
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Belk Library and Information Commons, 037A
(828) 262-8160