Google scholar trick makes it more useful

Google Scholar is a resource for using Google to search for scholarly publications. I have not used the site much because, in my experience, it has been more of a frustration than an aid in research. When I used Google Scholar in the past I quickly found a link to the paper, but when I clicked on it I often get sent to a journal that requires a subscription (or to a pay-per-view article).

In reality, many mathematicians post copies of their papers on their personal web pages or on the arXiv, so a typical Google search has had a higher payoff.

The Google Operating System blog points out that now Google Scholar and Google search results appear together. Under the link to the article is a link that says “All n versions”—this will take you to the n Google search results, and one of these may be a free copy of the paper.

For example, I searched for my name in Google Scholar and the top hit was for an article that I wrote with John Franks called “Shift equivalence and the Conley Index.” The main link was to the article at the Transactions of the AMS website.


Next to the main link is a link to the paper on the arXiv. There are also 10 more Google search results for this paper. Pretty neat.

I’ll have to give Google Scholar another try.