Saturday, July 31, 2021

Patent Search and Five Other Google Scholar Features Students Should Know How to Use

Unlike search results on, Google Scholar search results isn’t a ranking of websites. Instead, Google Scholar search results are lists of scholarly articles related to your query. Google Scholar can also be used to locate United States patent filings as well as state and federal court cases.

When looking at Google Scholar search results you’ll find that some articles are available to view for free as PDFs and others only allow you to read an abstract before being prompted to purchase access to the full article. Students who use Google Scholar and come across articles that require subscriptions for full access should ask their school’s librarian if the school has access to those articles.

One of the most helpful research features of Google Scholar is found after you’ve located a helpful article. In Google Scholar search results you’ll notice that below each article there is a link labeled “cited by” and one labeled “related articles.” Once you’ve identified a helpful article click on the “cited by” link to see a list of articles that have cited the one you’ve just read. You can also click on the “related articles” link to, as the name implies, find related articles indexed by Google Scholar.

Another handy feature of Google Scholar is found when you click on the quotation mark listed just to the left of the “cited by” link below each article. Clicking on the quotation mark brings up pre-formatted MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard, and Vancouver style citations for students to copy and paste into their research papers.

All of the features mentioned above and more are demonstrated in this short video.

Patent search in Google Scholar provides an interesting way for students to trace the development of technology. For example, using the patent search feature in Google Scholar can show students the development of telephones from Alexander Graham Bell’s first phone through mobile phones in use today. To do this students will first need to use Google Scholar to locate Bell’s patent filing (found here Once they’ve found the patent filing they can then scroll down the page to find a list of other patent filings that cited Bell’s and a list of similar patent filings. Students can also click on Bell’s name to see a list of all of his patent filings. A video demonstration of this process is available here.

This blog post was written by Richard Byrne and originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. 

Music, Forms, and Elements - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where the sun is rising on what is going to a great day for outdoor play. We'll be riding bikes, going on a little hike, and playing in the water today. I hope that you also have some fun things planned for your weekend. 

This week I did a lot of writing about search tools and strategies. Part of that work was a result of preparation for a couple of upcoming webinars including one during next week's Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. I hope you'll join me!

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Free Music for Classroom Projects
2. How Excluding Words Helps Narrow the Scope of a Search
3. What Car Did Harry Lyon Drive? - The Answer to Tuesday's Search Challenge
4. Five Google Scholar Features Students Should Know How to Use
5. How to Give Partial Credit in Google Forms
6. See the Elements Present in Common Products - The Periodic Table in Pictures and Words
7. An Itchy Science Lesson

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This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.