Answered By: Alex Machita
Last Updated: Aug 14, 2019     Views: 160

Google Scholar allows you to search scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, not just a single database. The disadvantages of Google Scholar is that not all articles that are returned are available full-text through the JMU Libraries, and not all of the articles will be peer-reviewed. Still, it can be a useful tool as long as you respect its limitations.

You can link your Google Scholar searches to the JMU Libraries order to see what articles you can access, using the Check for Full Text @ JMU link. This link will automatically display for users accessing Google Scholar while on campus, and you can set it to show up off-campus, too. Here's how:

Step 1: Go to Google Scholar (

Step 2: Click on Settings above the Google logo, right below the black bar. 

Step 3: Click on Library Links. Type James Madison University into the box, and click Find Library. Check the box next to James Madison University – Check for Full-Text @ JMU.

Step 4: Click Save. You must have cookies enabled to retain these settings in your browser, or use a personal Gmail account.

Step 5: Search for your terms. When you see a citation that interests you, check at right to see if there’s an option for Check for Full-Text @ JMU. This will open a page with links to full-text databases that provide access to the article for James Madison students. 

Step 6: If the libraries have electronic access through one of our databases, you will either be sent directly to the article or to a screen with a list of databases that provide access.

If the screen says No Full-Text Available or No Results Were Found, use the circular button at the lower right that says ILL. This will allow you to request an electronic copy of the article via the Interlibrary Loan Department (ILL borrowing is free for JMU students and faculty). 

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