Simple search

Searching in Google Scholar is just as easy as in regular Google: you enter one or more terms in the search bar and you will see results.

To increase the chance of more relevant results for you, you can apply several tips:

  • author: if you are looking for publications by a specific author, use the operator 'author', for example, author: knuth or author: "donald knuth";
  • title: if you are looking for a specific title, put the full title in quotation marks, for example, "A History of China Sea";
  • date: your search results are normally sorted by relevance, not date. Try the following options on the left side of the search bar to find newer articles:
  1. click "Since year" to display only recently published articles, still sorted by relevance;
  2. enter two years under "Custom range" to display the publications within this range, still sorted by relevance;
  3. click "Sort by date" to display the new additions first, the results are then sorted by date.

Advanced search

You can do an advanced search in Google Scholar in two ways:

  • with an "Advanced Search" window,
  • with your own (previously prepared) search string.

Advanced search window

  • you can find the advanced search window in the menu on the left-hand side

  • click to open the window

  • now you can search in the author, title, and publication fields, as well as limit your search results by date;
  • in the field "with all of the words" you enter all search terms that should appear in your search results;
  • in the field "with the exact phrase" you type, for example, compound terms or the title of an article, these words are automatically given quotation marks and are searched for as one term;
  • in the field "with at least one of the words", enter any synonyms of your search term, at least one of the words will appear in your search results;
  • in the field "without the words" you can optionally indicate a word that you do not want to find in your search results;
  • you can also indicate whether the search engine should search for your terms in the titles of the publications or in their entire texts.

Example searching with the Advanced search window

In the example, we are looking for articles published since 2018 on the factors influencing consumers' online buying behavior. You can fill the search window as following:


The search engine makes automatically the following search string:

Notice: You do not see an AND operator in the search string above. That's because every space in Google is an 'AND'!


Advanced search with a search string

What is a search string?

A search string is a combination of the main terms (from your query) and their synonyms, connected by operators AND and OR, and where possible made 'smart' by applying search techniques, such as quotation marks and round brackets.

With a search string, you can search in any search engine or database.

Using search string:

  • in Google Scholar you can easily use your self-composed search string;
  • in search engines Google and Google Scholar every space between your search terms works as AND operator;
  • Copy-Paste your search string into Scholar's simple search bar and results will appear;
  • NOTE: do not use truncation or wildcard (*) in your search string in Google Scholar! The search engine does not support these search techniques.
  • make the retrieved results more relevant by applying "Since year", "Custom range" or "Sort by date".
  • TIP: for more information about search terms and creating a search string, see the minilecture Keywords!

Example searching with a search string

We are still looking for articles on the factors influencing consumers' online buying behavior.

A possible search string is:

("consumer behavior" OR "buyer behavior" OR "buying behavior") AND ("online shopping" OR "online buying" OR "online retail" OR "web retail") AND (factors OR impact OR influence) 

The results in the search engine look like this:

Search accuracy

In Google Scholar you can easily search with one or more search terms or a search string.


Please note that a full-text search is automatically performed.

This means that the search engine searches in all fields (title, author(s), the title of the journal, etc.) and the full text of the article. So you usually get a lot of results, but they are not necessarily all relevant to you.


In most databases, you can indicate that you want to search with the search term(s) or search string, for example in the summary or the keywords. This makes the number of results less, but more relevant.

Search results in Google Scholar

Each search result in Google Scholar has a bar with various options.

Here's what you can do for each result:

"My library"

  • If you have a Google account, you can save desired search results in a library;
  • By clicking on the asterisk the result is saved;
  • If you are not logged in, a Google account login screen will appear;
  • In "My library" you can add labels to the saved results; you can edit them; export to a reference manager program or delete.


  • Click on the quotation marks and a window appears with the bibliographic description of the search result in 3 citation styles: MLA, APA, and ISSO 690;
  • Copy the desired description and paste it into the source list of the piece you are writing; TIP: many courses at Hanze UAS use APA as a reference style!
  • You can also export the description to one of the reference managers to add to your document later.

  • The number after 'Cited by' indicates the number of articles that have this article in their source list;
  • By clicking on 'Cited by' you will get an overview of articles on a similar topic;
  • The articles in the overview will be more recent than the article found.

  • Provides an overview of documents that resemble the specified search result;
  • The search results can be more recent or older than the found article.

Related Library Guides

Search directly in Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search