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Google Scholar

Google Scholar uses the Google search engine to enable searches for scholarly materials such as peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from broad subject areas. 

It works by cross-searching a selection of databases owned by scholarly societies, publishers and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web. Google Scholar can give some very useful results for a review of past research, but is not explicit about which bibliographic databases and journals it searches, so for a comprehensive review you should search the important databases for your subject as well.

Some Google Scholar search results include links to full-text; some offer only citations. Where only a citation is returned, you may see: Full Text@NUI Galway.

The Library has partnered with Google Scholar to facilitate direct access to electronic journals and other electronic content that we have subscribed to on your behalf, by linking through SFX.  The Library has sent Google information about our holdings, our linking utility (SFX), and IP ranges (internet address) for our campus networks. 

Google Scholar uses a 'Preferences' setting to display a FullText@NUIGalway link if the Library offers access to an electronic version of an article.

How does Google Scholar know you are with NUI Galway?

If you are using a computer connected to the University network, Google Scholar recognizes your IP address, and sets NUI Galway as your default library preference.  

If you are off-campus, you must set NUI Galway as your library preference:

  • On the Google Scholar search page, click on the Settings link to open the Preferences page.
  • In the Library Links search box type NUI Galway and click on Find Library. 
  • Check the box next to NUI Galway. 
  • Then scroll down the page and click the Save Preferences button. 

If you allow cookies on your computer, this setting will stay in place across search sessions. 


  • you can set up to two additional library preferences, if you have access to other libraries. 
  • you can also set up a link to download citations to your preferred bibliographic management software, such as EndNote.   

Rememberyou must be logged into your library account in order to access information from library subscribed databases. 

What to do if there is no FullText@NUI Galway link

  • Check the Library Catalogue – not all resources are linked through the SFX system.
  • Click on the title of the citation in Google Scholar – this may lead to an open access or freely available version of the article.
  • Use the Inter-library Loan Service to request the article or book. 

Can I research all the relevant information on a topic via Google Scholar?

No – you need to search subject specific and interdisciplinary academic databases for in-depth, comprehensive academic research. 

Google Scholar is useful for broad background searches of scholarly literature and for searching across many disciplines. It is also useful for searching for the work of particular authors and for tracking cited references. 

You will need to search individual Library scholarly databases:

  • to do comprehensive searches across many years of scholarly literature.
  • for in-depth literature searches in a narrow topic. 
  • if you would like to do structured searching using subject headings and thesaurus terms. 
  • for concise, authoritative encyclopedia, dictionary, handbook and physical properties definitions
  • for detailed business information.

Who can Help?

Customer Services Desk,

+353 91493399