Google Scholar

Search Scholar


Library Support

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Facilitating library access to scholarly texts brings us one step closer to this goal. We're thankful to the libraries and librarians who make it possible.

We provide two ways to make it easier for your patrons to access the electronic and print resources in your library when they're using Google Scholar.

Library Links

Library links are article-level links to subscription full text for patrons affiliated with a library. This program works best for electronic resources, such as journal and conference articles.

To sign up, you'll need an OpenURL-compatible link resolver, such as SFX from Ex Libris, 360 Link from Serials Solutions, LinkSource from EBSCO, or WebBridge from Innovative Interfaces. We also support several smaller vendors and regional products. Please contact the vendor of your link resolver to get included in Google Scholar.

The vendor will normally ask you to fill a registration form that contains your subscriber IPs and the text of the link. They will then augment this information with your electronic holdings, and make this data available to our automatic indexing system. Your links should appear in Google Scholar within a week or two from the time the vendor makes your data available to our search robots.

Please also contact your vendor if you need to make changes to your registration, or to remove it entirely. E.g., if you're moving to a different product, you will need to ask the old vendor to remove your old record, and ask the new vendor to add a new record for you. Once the vendor makes a change at their end, our automatic update process should normally pick it up within a week or two.

Library Search

Library search offers links to book catalogs where the patron can check local availability of a book, or request a library loan. This program works best for print resources, such as textbooks and monographs.

To sign up, you'll need to participate in a union catalog, such as OCLC's Open WorldCat. We also work with many other national and regional union catalogs.

Participating union catalogs make their bibliographic records available to our automatic indexing system. We index these records and link to the union catalog pages, which, in turn, normally link to the catalog of your library.

You don't need to register with us for library search. We link to union catalogs, and the union catalogs link to individual library collections. Please contact your union catalog if you have questions about library search.

Library Policies

Google's use of electronic holdings information

We will use electronic holdings information for generating per article links in our search results to library servers. We will not share this information with third parties or use it for marketing purposes.

Library holdings usage information

We will not share information with third parties on the usage of your electronic holdings or on aggregate usage based on institutional characteristics or profiles.

Libraries can withdraw electronic holdings information

Once the holdings information is no longer available to our crawlers, we will stop using it within 30 days.

Library Questions

How do I sign up for the Library Links program?

Please contact the provider of your link resolver service/software. We have worked with link resolver vendors to make it easy for libraries to participate in this program. In many cases, it could be as simple as a configuration option in your link resolver.

How do I get included in Library Search?

To have your library included in the 'Library Search' program, you will need to join your national union catalog. If there is no national union catalog in your country, please contact OCLC to see if you can join the OCLC Open Worldcat.

How much do you charge for Library Links and Library Search?

Library Links and Library Search are both free of charge.

How do I remove my library from Library Links?

You'll need to contact the vendor of the link resolver that added you to the program. Once they remove your record from their registration file, our robots will refresh their data and remove your links from our website. Keep in mind that this process usually takes a week or two.

We moved to a different link resolver. How do I update our Library Links?

You'll need to unregister the old link resolver and register the new one. If you're switching vendors, the old vendor will need to remove your record from their registration file and the new vendor will need to add one to theirs. Once both vendors have updated their records, the switchover should be complete within a week or two. We recommend that both link resolvers are available during this transition period, to avoid interruption of service to your patrons.

Can you show my link resolver button instead of the text link?

Sorry, we're unable to use buttons or other images. Google Scholar user interface is text-oriented. Text loads faster and is easier on people's eyes.

Is electronic holdings information necessary for participating in the Library Links program?

Yes. We have found that users are far more likely to take advantage of links that lead them to full text versions of the content.

Why do you need the IP address range for our patrons?

We need IP address ranges so that your links will automatically appear for people accessing Google Scholar from these networks. Other patrons - for instance, off campus students - will need to configure their affiliation in their own Scholar settings.

We strongly encourage you to provide your patrons' IP address ranges. Many good services go unused simply because people don't configure their computer to utilize them.

Do you share our holdings or registration data with anyone else?

Absolutely not.

How does a user who is off campus know about my library's holdings with Google Scholar?

These users will need to configure their affiliation in their own Scholar settings. Then, they will see links to your library's resolver.

Note that off-campus users will probably not come to the resolver from the authorized IP addresses. You'll need to make sure the resolver offers appropriate authentication options to them.

How do you handle user authentication?

We don't. People who don't come from your networks can still select your library in their settings. It's up to you to authenticate your patrons. You can choose the authentication mechanism that works best for you.

How do I make sure users have the best experience with my link resolver?

Please follow general user interface guidelines:

  • Avoid popup ads, blinking images, window resizing, time bombs, sound, etc.
  • Check for broken links, server errors, pages that crash browsers, etc.
  • Link directly to the catalog entry, not to an empty search box.
  • Tell users how to authenticate, not that they don't have access.

These are some of the usability issues that we've seen with some link resolvers. We urge you to take a close look.

Can I limit access to my holdings and registration data?

Yes, you can. Please use IP address based authentication. Your resolver vendor may have already done that for you.