Studying Research – Part 1 – Using google scholar

I use google scholar to locate research papers and studies. When you launch the site you see the familiar google search engine with the difference being that this particular search engine looks through published papers.

As an example, suppose you want to investigate “low carb diet”. Enter that into the search box and select search.

The search engine returns:

Let’s take a look at each section of the results.

How Many Pages?

The search engine indicates how many pages have the particular search term in them. In this case, there’s more than 29,000 pages which have the words low carb diet in them.

That might indicate that looking into a more specific term might be useful. Perhaps add other words like “low carb diet insulin” as an example.

Limiting the Time Range

On the left is a filter section which can be used to select date ranges. Citations can be included or not included. This can help limit to more recent research in the case where there’s a lot of papers.

The Studies

The center lists the title of the particular paper which presented the results of the study.

Looking closer at the first result:

Document Type

The page is an HTML document.

Title of the Study

The title shows the scope of the study. Sometimes the title is misleading. Most of the time the title is helpful.

Type of Study

This is really important. Not all studies are of equal value. The type of this study is a “randomized, controlled trial”. That’s usually a well designed study. However, you will need to look closer to see the study flaws or strengths.

Authors

The authors are listed in green along with the date of publication and the journal that the paper was published in.

Abstract

The abstract of the study is typically listed next. When you click the link it often just shows the abstract but if you search again for the title you may find the full text. I’ve searched for the title and added PDF and had success in some cases at finding the actual paper. The bottom line lists 16 other versions. One of them may have the full paper (if this is only the abstract).

Cited by

For this study it shows that the results are very widely cited. This particular paper was cited in over 900 other papers.

Right Bar Side

The right side shows the document type.

Studying Research – Part 2 – Examining a Study

Author: Doug

I'm an Engineer who is also a science geek. I was pre-diabetic in 1996 and became a diabetic in 2003. I decided to figure out how to hack my diabetes and in 2016 found the ketogetic diet which reversed my diabetes.

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