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Set up library links

Before searching Google Scholar, set up a link between the USC Library and Google Scholar. 

1. Go to Google Scholar

2. Select Settings (More for Tablet)

3. Select Library Links

4. Search for USC

5. Tick the box with the university name

6. Select Save to update changes

Search Google Scholar

Visit these guides to develop your search strategy:

About Google Scholar

Google Scholar is Google's search engine for scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories and universities.

Why use Google Scholar

  • If you have have an obscure reference that is proving difficult to locate in a conventional database
  • If the topic is under researched or not covered by USC programs
  • It offers metrics such as how many times a publication has been cited
  • It can assist with finding "grey literature" like conference proceedings 

Limitations of Google Scholar

  • Not everything in Google Scholar is scholarly
  • There is no way to limit the search to only peer-reviewed publications
  • The results do not always provide the full-text and will restrict access without a subscription 

Set up Google Scholar

Access full-text articles

When browsing the list of results, begin with the links in the right column of the list.

Full-text at USC Library

This is the preferred link to use and will usually take you directly to the article in one of the USC databases. 

[PDF] website

This link may give you access to an article if it is freely available online.

Article title link

If the other options do not provide you with full-text access, try using the article title link.

Still can't find a PDF?

If none of the link provide you with a PDF to download, move on. You won't be able to access that article at no cost.


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