Google Scholar is a specialized search engine tailored for academic and scholarly research. It’s a valuable tool for students, researchers, and educators alike. If you’re delving into the topic of mobile learning, here’s how you can make the most of Google Scholar:
1. Accessing Google Scholar: Begin by navigating to the Google Scholar homepage. It’s a straightforward interface, reminiscent of the main Google search page but optimized for academic content.
2. Basic Search: In the search bar, type in your keywords, such as “mobile learning,” “m-learning applications,” or “mobile education trends.” Press ‘Enter’ or click the search magnifying glass icon.
3. Refining Your Search: Once you’ve got your results, you might want to refine them further:
- Use quotes for exact phrases: “mobile learning strategies.”
- Use the minus sign to exclude certain words: mobile learning -games.
- Use the “intitle:” operator to find articles with specific words in the title: intitle:”mobile learning.”
4. Accessing Articles: Click on article titles to access them. Some might be behind paywalls, but often there’s a freely available version. Look for links on the right side of the page or try accessing through your university’s library portal.
5. Citing Articles: Google Scholar makes citing articles a breeze. Below each search result, you’ll find a ‘Cite’ link (it looks like a quotation mark). Clicking on it will provide citation formats in MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard, and Vancouver. For our topic, if you’re using APA, it might look something like:
Smith, J. (2020). Mobile learning in the 21st century. Journal of Educational Technology, 45(2), 123-135.
6. Setting Up Alerts: If you want to stay updated on the latest research about mobile learning, set up an alert. Click on the ‘Alerts’ link at the top of the Google Scholar homepage, enter your search terms, and provide an email address. You’ll receive notifications when new articles matching your criteria are published.
7. Exploring Related Articles: Found an article that’s spot-on? Google Scholar can help you find more like it. Click on the ‘Related articles’ link beneath the search result to explore similar research.
8. Checking Citations: To gauge the impact of an article or to find more recent research that references it, click on the ‘Cited by’ link. This shows you other papers that have cited the article in question, allowing you to trace the evolution of a particular topic or idea.