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COMM COR 2020 - Introduction to Research Methods - Brand

Google Scholar

Google Scholar

Pro – very large

Pro – most cited articles tend to appear first

Con – you can't limit the results to quantitative, qualitative, or rhetorical research

Con – recent articles will not appear unless the publication date is limited (e.g. Since 2020)

Con – only a fraction of the results will be from peer-reviewed journals (no way to limit to this)

Con – only an even smaller fraction will be empirical studies (no way to limit to this)

Con – only about 400 results are actually available (despite the number posted at the top of the page)

Con – not a communication studies database

Con – can’t search by subject or abstract and no truncation or Boolean operators


Google Scholar example - women and politics and the United States

Google Scholar search example - women and politics in the United States


Google Scholar - limiting to publication date and keywords in the title

Examples of Google Scholar search techniques

Trying to find research articles published in scholarly journals on topics in communication with Google Scholar is difficult. Here are a variety of examples and techniques that can improve your odds of success:

A series of Google Scholar search examples to locate research in the field of communication.  Example 1 - "discourse analysis" intitle:"social media"  addiction    Example 2 - "content analysis"  intitle:"social media"   Example 3 - "conversation analysis"  journalism  ethics


Searching Cited by References (Snowball Forward)

Google Scholar provides a powerful way to search articles that have cited a favorite article.  Enter the title of a favorite article into Google Scholar then click on the "Cited by" option underneath the entry.


Then be sure to check the Search within citing articles box.


Then enter a concept and search all of the citing articles for that word.

Google Scholar - Find it @ UNI - Off Campus Solutions

When you use Google Scholar on campus, Google Scholar will supply the Find it! @ UNI software that allows you to access very expensive research (paid for by UNI ... and your tuition dollars)






However, if you are off campus Google Scholar will not automatically supply the "Find it! @ UNI" unless you either ...


... access Google Scholar from this guide, or access Google Scholar via the "Databases A-Z" link, or directly from the link on the library homepage.



... or you change the Google Scholar settings on the computer you are using off campus as follows:

1.  Click on the three stacked bars (box) in the upper left-hand corner of Google Scholar

2.  Click on the settings wheel         

3.  Click on the Library links option   

4.  Type Iowa into the blank and click on the search button

5.  Check the option "University of Northern Iowa - Find it! @ UNI"

6.  Click on Save