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Free/Low-Cost Legal Research on the Internet: Using Google Scholar

Why Use Google Scholar?

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.

Google Scholar results

Google Scholar allows you to type in your search terms and will retrieve matching items from legal opinions and journals.  There is also a hyperlink that can often take you directly to the article.

 

 

 

What if Google Scholar does not provide a full text link?

If a link is unavailable for the article in question, search our catalog and the two Oklahoma City University Libraries' Journal A-Z list.  Please ask a reference librarian for additional assistance.

Authority of Resources

While Google Scholar can be an excellent resource for finding articles, keep in mind that you need to make sure that your source is one that is reliable and scholarly. Some materials might not be appropriate for your research, some may be pre-edited articles and reports.  You will still need to evaluate your source.  Also, keep in mind that Google Scholar does not have every scholarly journal.  Do not base all of your research on what you find in Google Scholar, because you may miss some important articles.

General Search Strategy

Run an advanced search.  Using terms and connectors or using quotation marks to retrieve the exact phrase often retrieves more relevant results.  

Law Review Tips

Make sure you check your citation information.  There may be errors in the citation provided to you.  Always verify the citation is correct and refer to your Bluebook for proper citation format.

How to Use Google Scholar

Google Scholar offers a Help section as well as Advanced Search TipsBoth of these are invaluable for coming up with useful search terms so that you can find the articles you need.

Google Scholar Search Box

Google Scholar Citations

For many articles, Google Scholar lists the number of citations that the article has.  This can be useful for leading the researcher to more sources.  The number of citations may also indicate a work or an author that is more highly respected in the field.

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