Google Scholar is like Google for academic literature. It is a search engine that provides links to full-text articles to which U-M Library subscribes or to articles made freely available by the publisher. Google Scholar provides articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and scholarly articles posted on the web.
+ Ease of use; similar features of Google web search
+ Citation information provided in popular styles (APA, MLA, BibTeX)
+ Search vast array of information; technical reports, preprints, society publications, patents
+ Full-text often available with a single click
- Far fewer filtering options compared to a library database
- Uneven coverage in social sciences, better for hard sciences
- No limiter for just scholarly publications
- Little transparency and quality control with regard to what gets indexed
If you encounter an article out on the web behind a publisher paywall or asking for $35 to read, sometimes you can find it instead for free in Google Scholar.
In the example article below on quantum machine learning, the journal Nature has a paywall up.
Simply copy-paste the DOI number (on the "Cite this article" page) and paste it into Google Scholar. All DOIs start with 10, so grab the number from there, ignoring the rest of it.
[A DOI is a unique number assigned to every journal article published (like an ISBN for a book) in the last 20 years ]
After pasting the DOI into Google Scholar, you can see that the article we're interested in has a PDF available. No need to subscribe to Nature.
Google Scholar automatically provides a citation in several different styles. Use the quote icon under the article information.
Did you know you can link GoogleScholar and U-M Library articles and databases? Log into your Google account using your umich credentials (so these settings are saved). From GoogleScholar's home page, go to the hamburger menu in the upper left hand corner, and click on Settings.
Click on the Library Links option in the list.
Type in University of Michigan and click on the two options that list the Ann Arbor campus.
Click Save at the bottom of the screen (not pictured). Now if U-M subscribes to an article, you'll see the 'Availability at UM' link in your Google Scholar search results.
Of course you can go to scholar.google.com to access Google Scholar.
But if you use the link on the Library's homepage then Google Scholar will automatically be connected to U-M Library database subscriptions.