Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
UCSF Library logo

Google Tips and Tricks

Make the most of your Google search, plus check out cool apps!

Google Scholar

A link to Google Scholar@UCSF is found on the library homepage. The @UCSF version adds UCeLinks to full text content.

The Google Scholar search engine searches scholarly sources, patents, case law and more. It is a great adjunct to traditional article databases. It is quick and easy, always finds too much information but results are sorted by relevance. It is a great first place to look for information. You may answer your question or at the least get ideas about words to use in database searches. Scholar can also be the last place you look to turn up anything you did not find in database searches.

It is a good place to hunt for grey literature (that is, scholarly materials that are not in journals and might include white papers, dissertations, theses, and other documents).

Tips to create a better search in Scholar:

  1. From the Library homepage (library.ucsf.edu) find the link to Google Scholar@UCSF
  2. Use OR between synonyms
  3. Put synonyms between parentheses
  4. Don't use AND
  5. Put quotation marks on phrases

Example:

Question: Is transversus abdominis plane block effective for pain after liver transplant?

image of a google scholar search and results for: (liver transplant OR hepatic transplant) ("transversus abdominis plane block") (postoperative pain)