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Pharmacy Literature Search Skills

Google Scholar

Google Scholar can be a useful resource for finding literature. It's great for finding grey literature such as government reports, dissertations, and research presented at conferences. Clicking the "Cited by" link for a particular article can be an excellent way to find related research on a topic. However, there are a few caveats about using Google Scholar:

  • There's little to no quality control on the content in Google Scholar, so you may find results from predatory journals
  • Searching works a bit differently - for instance, truncation (using the * at the end of a word) searching doesn't work, and sometimes using brackets in your search causes unusual results
  • There are no subject terms or other filters you can use to focus your search

When using Google Scholar from off-campus, use the link below to enable access to UBC eLink.​ Also, please see the Grey Literature guide below for additional tips on using Google Scholar, and more sources and techniques for finding grey literature:

What is Grey Literature?

Grey literature includes any material that has not been published through traditional means, e.g. in journals. It is not often included in databases and can be difficult to locate as it may contain missing bibliographic information.

It is a good idea to look for grey literature when:

  • Avoiding bias
  • Conducting a comprehensive review
  • Finding negative results
  • Finding brand new evidence that has not been published in a traditional format
  • Wanting to discover more references to other sources that your database search may have missed

For more information on the types of grey literature in health sciences and how to find them, please consult the Grey Literature for Health Sciences research guide.