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Built Environment

Google Scholar (with Lean Library)

Why might I need Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is an academic equivalent of Google. It works by 'indexing' the data contained in scholarly literature—different formats and across all disciplines—so that the user can find relevant research. It is freely available here:

What is Lean Library?

Google Scholar can be frustrating to use because it is often unclear whether or not you have access to the results it finds. The Library has solved this problem for you through the purchase of Lean Library. Lean Library is an extension that you download to your browser that lets you know if the University of Derby provides the content for you. If you are using Google Scholar, then it is highly recommended that you use Lean Library.


How does Google Scholar relate to Library Search?

Google Scholar and Library Search are similar in one way, but they are very different in other ways:


They include data from many different academic publishers and institutions.


Library Search provides a definitive account of the sources that it includes—thereby providing you with transparency.

Library Search tells you immediately whether or not you have access to the resources you find. You can even request inter-library loans if the Library does not have the work you need.

Library Search is a complete, authoritative information portal for your journey at the University of Derby. 

Google Scholar can be difficult to search effectively.

But, Google Scholar can surprise and provide results from quite hidden research environments. 

Should I use Google Scholar?

There is nothing inherently wrong with Google Scholar, but I would highly recommend not using it as your only source of information. Use it in conjunction with Library Search and the other databases described in this section of the LibGuide. And do remember to install Lean Library if you are using Google Scholar!