How To Get Scholarly Articles For Free



Do you need scholarly articles that you can access for free? Then you need to check out Google Scholar.

Google scholar looks like the popular Google web search. However, it is a more specialized search engine. It searches for only scholarly articles. The results obtained from running a search on Google Scholar usually contains citations for the articles. You may also be provided with links to free or free-based full-text articles.

One of the benefits you can derive from Google Scholar is the familiar interface. If you can make use of Google, then searching through Google Scholar should pose no problem. There are many academic disciplines (ranging from medicine to history) in Google Scholar. It should however be noted that you may not find as many resources as you would have found in a library database. Nonetheless, Google Scholar is a good place for you to start if you need a journal article.

It is important to take a look at the techniques you need in order to improve your search result when using this search engine.

How To Search On Google Scholar

You can search on Google Scholar the same way you will search on Google. The drawback is that using simple keywords may not give you the desired result in finding journals that relate to your topic, thesis or research question that you needed help with. Below are some of the techniques you can employ when using the Google Scholar search engine.

  • Phrase Search

In order to use this method, you need to enclose the phrase you are searching for in quotation marks. This indicates that you want to search for those words together (in the order they are written). For instance, if I’m interested in: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Water, I’ll type “Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Water” into the search bar.

  • Title Search

In this technique, the operator “intitle:” is used to search for keywords that are only present in the title of the journal article you are interested in. For instance, intitle:polycyclic will return results that have articles with the word ‘polycyclic’ in their titles.

  • Author Search

By using the operator “author:” to search for articles, articles with the author name will be provided. For example, using author:”williams as” will provide results for an author with the surname Williams whose initials is A.S.

  • Advanced Search

On the Google Scholar page, click the link to the “Advanced Scholar Search” to get more options. This gives you the option of searching by author, publication date or journal title. You can even use it to restrict your search to a particular field.

How To Use Your Search Results

A typical search result will be in form of a citation. This will comprise the article title, publication information such as the journal name, date and publisher. You may also find the publisher’s name in the results.

Also, some of the citations may contain a link to “Full-text @ WNEC” next to the article title. You can click it to get the full article. You may also find other citations that include on the last line a link that reads “Resources @ WNEC.” This gives you a list of journals alphabetically.


If you’ve not been embracing the Google Scholar search engine before, you can start today. It offers you the opportunity of getting scholarly articles that may be difficult or impossible to get on the regular Google search engine. You can access Google Scholar through this link:

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