Harvard faculty and librarians often warn students about the potential risks of using Google for academic research. After all, Web sites are often unstable, unscholarly, and, generally, a poor substitute for library collections or the subscription electronic resources available through E-Research.

Nevertheless, there are a growing number of legitimate research guides, full-text collections, and other scholarly tools on the free Web worth exploring. The challenge, with hundreds of millions of indexed sites, is finding the right ones. Fortunately, there are a number of search techniques that researchers can use to refine their Google search results.
This guide is intended to help Harvard students and researchers better understand how Google works, how to use a variety of search operators, and how to navigate Google Scholar, a special flavor of Google specifically designed for searching scholarly literature.

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Hugh Truslow
Head, Social Sciences and Visualization
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