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Advanced Research Techniques for Undergraduate Research Student Scholars

This guide includes content from the library workshops "Advanced Research Techniques Honors & Emerging Scholars" and additional support content.

Google Advanced Search

Try the advanced search in Google (click “Settings” in the lower right corner) or other search engines to narrow your focus to more relevant sources. Search on a specific domain, for example, .gov for government websites or .edu for education websites.

Not sure whether you’ve found a credible, reliable source? Use the library’s RECAP guide to evaluate it for RELEVANCE, EXPERTISE, CURRENCY,ACCURACY, AND PURPOSE.

Using Google Scholar

What's great about Google Scholar

  • Easy to use
  • Can be linked to City Tech library and other libraries 
  • You can use the "cited by" feature to find more relevant material
  • Like library databases, one can link to a reference manager and/or generate a citation

What isn't great about Google Scholar

  • lacks subject and disciplinary focus (library databases are often specialized)
  • hard if not impossible to limit or filter your search
  • requires customization to work with library resources

Google Scholar

What is Google Scholar? 

Google Scholar indexes

  • journal articles
  • conference papers
  • theses and dissertations
  • academic books (especially collections of chapters by different authors)
  • pre-prints (openly available early versions of articles usually in subject repositories like arXiv for physics)
  • abstracts
  • technical reports
  • ResearchGate and content (some?)
  • More details:

Advantages to Using Google Scholar

  • All disciplines, easy inter-disciplinary research
  • Citation trail! “Cited by” feature 
  • Gives article recommendations through “my updates”
  • Indexes material not always covered by library databases 
  • Easily exports to citation managers
  • Easy to link to City Tech library and other libraries' content

Issues to be Aware of When Using Google Scholar

  • Google Scholar does not index all scholarly material. 
  • Even when connected to our library, Google Scholar cannot access all of the library’s collections  
  • Searching is more effective and targeted using the library databases. 
  • Library databases offer peer-review filter

Google Scholar can be connected to library resources and allow exporting of citations! 

Before searching in Google Scholar first set Google Scholar’s preferences to connect to City Tech Library.  

  • Use the link on the library's database pages or
  • On the upper left, there are three lines. Click on the three lines to open the menu
  • Select the gear icon “Settings”
  • Select “Library links” in the sidebar navigation on the left
  • Type in “New York City College of Technology” and select it from the menu below
  • Click “Save”
  • Note: You will need to login once with your City Tech library barcode to access articles in databases



After selecting Library Links, search "New York City College of Technology" and then check off the options and SAVE

Now links to content in the library will appear. Finalize your customization by adding export to your citation manager in the basic settings menu.

(some text by Prof. Miriam Deutsch, Brooklyn College)

Citation trails in Google Scholar

Citation trails are a way to use an influential article to find more current articles on the same topic. Although you can examine the citations in an article or book to look backwards for citations, the best way to use these for research is to do a forward-looking citation trail in Google Scholar.

Looking forward
When you search in Google Scholar, you can see who subsequently cited a specific article. This is a great way to find more relevant articles. Just look for the cited by link below the article.Typically, this links gives you the count of how many sources cited the article, e.g. Cited by 59