Diving deeper into Google

Now let’s dive into some of Google’s specialised services, which offer you a way to find material that may not come up in a general search.

Google Books

There are many wonderful collections of digitised resources online, but Google Books is one of the largest. How much you can read of each book differs from title to title, depending on the book’s copyright status. For more recent books, you usually just get a snippet, but often the whole text is available, especially for older works.

Like Google’s general search, you can refine your search using Search tools. You can usually search inside a book for more information (eg in the example below, the term 'eureka stockade' has been entered into the search box and two of the 12 results are highlighted in yellow).

Other services include:

  • My library: you can create a library of curated titles linked to your Google account (see the circled 'Add to my library' tab on the example above)
  • Write a review
  • About this book: details about the author, table of contents and bibliographic data
  • Buy this book: purchase print copies and ebooks of more recent titles.

Searching Google Books is just like searching Google, so the process of exploring free information from the world’s greatest libraries is easy.

Even when there’s only a snippet or preview of a text available for copyright reasons, Google Books usually gives you enough information to make decisions about whether the book is worth buying or finding in a library. 

Google Books is a rich resource, even for simple queries – and one that grows broader and deeper every day. 

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a specialised search tool for finding high-quality articles and research. 

You can look for:

  • academic articles
  • abstracts
  • research papers
  • citations
  • conference papers
  • unpublished theses.

Google Scholar searches library and university collections, academic publishers, professional societies and academic communities such as academia.edu. It also searches databases of articles, and looks for scholarly texts in Google Books. 

This specialised search tool gives you access to a vast array of articles published in print journals over decades that have now been digitised, making it an excellent source of well-researched, well-argued material on a huge range of topics, disciplines and professions.

Whether you’re studying, looking for the latest evidence and analysis on a topic, or gathering resources for a project, Google Scholar finds resources that a standard web search will either overlook or push down the page. 

Because Google Scholar also searches unpublished theses and conference papers, you can access material that is really hard to find any other way. Also, as many of the published articles have been peer reviewed, they are likely to be a more trustworthy source than a random blog (although not always!). 

So, dig a little deeper into Google and see what you find. 

Things to remember
  • Google Books allows you to read at least a snippet
  • Google Scholar retrieves articles that a normal Google search can't find

So that's it for this course. Interested in finding out more about learning opportunities at State Library Victoria? Let's talk about next steps.


Last modified: Wednesday, 14 September 2016, 1:21 PM