Google Scholar Chrome extension: features and RefWorks integration

If you use Google Chrome and Google Scholar, you’ll probably be interested in the recently released Scholar Chrome extension. I gave the extension a whirl, and here are my notes – including details of its support for RefWorks and Find My Reference.

Well, first off you have to be using Chrome as your browser. You can then Install the extension (which is free) from its webstore page. This will give you a little Scholar button to the right of your address bar. It looks like this:

Google Scholar button

Once it’s there, you can start clicking it. One of three things will happen:

1) If you’re on a well-formatted journal article page (which depends on the publisher doing a good job), the extension will pick up the article details automatically.

2) If you’ve highlighted an article title on any web page, the extension will search Scholar for that title.

3) If you’re not on an article page and nothing has been highlighted, you’ll see a Scholar search box.

If the extension finds a matching article you’ll see basic information, which links through to Google’s source for the article (usually the publisher’s page). If no exact match is found, you’ll see the top three Scholar results.

Depending on your Scholar preferences and the journal details, you may see a Find It @ UoN button, which will take you to the library’s Find My Reference service to locate a full-text copy of the article. Here’s an example:

Scholar extension with Find It button

The four arrows in the bottom left open the full Google Scholar results in a new tab – useful if you haven’t had an exact match and want to see more results.

The extension may also provide a green button that (hopefully) links directly to the full text, like so:

Scholar extension open access link

If you’re especially lucky, you might see both buttons.

You’ll also notice a quote mark icon next to the article title. This is especially useful – clicking it will reveal formatted citations for the article, and buttons to export the data. You can set up Scholar to show a RefWorks export button here, which means the extension offers a very quick method of importing article details into RefWorks:

Scholar extension export options

To set up RefWorks export, click the cog icon in the bottom right to access your Scholar settings (you’ll need to be logged into a Google account for this) and select RefWorks in the the Bibliography Manager section:

Scholar bibliographic manager settings

While you’re in the settings, you can use the Library Links section to add University of Northampton as a permanent library connection. This means you’ll see the Find It @ UoN button in Scholar even when you’re off campus. Just click Library Links, type Northampton into the box and hit return, and Find It should appear ticked underneath. Click Save and you’re done.

Scholar library links preferences

Ultimately, this extension is simply offering a convenient shortcut to Scholar results and features. It doesn’t offer anything that isn’t already part of Scholar, but it’s fast and always on hand. If you’re using Chrome and Scholar regularly, you’ll probably find it very helpful. If you’re a RefWorks user, you may find it useful as a quick means of getting data into your RefWorks library. I recommend giving it a try.

Posted on April 14, 2015, in Library and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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