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ALL-SIS Scholarly Communications & Author's Rights Toolkit

Why Use Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is a freely accessible search engine that indexes the full text and metadata of scholarship across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. Released in November 2004, the Google Scholar index includes most peer-reviewed online academic journals and books, conference papers, theses and dissertations, preprints, abstracts, technical reports, and other scholarly literature, including court opinions and patents.

Google Scholar's data is not perfectly accurate and is known to exclude some citations of works from some sources and include false positives that count as citations. The system's information is constantly being updated and changed, which explains why citation counts can fluctuate over time (and even go down!). But, even though the data is not perfect, Google Scholar still offers a view into a scholar's overall publication record over time and provides a rough count of total citations and growth over time viewed by calendar years.

Google Scholar Citations - Count and Over Time

Configuring Google Scholar

To access your Google Scholar Profile:

  • Go to and sign in with a Google account. This can be your personal Google account or institutional Google account, if you have one. Select "My Profile".

  • If this is a new account, Google Scholar will prompt you to enter details about yourself, such as your name, email address, and academic interests. If you enter your academic email ending in .edu, your email should soon appear as "verified" by your educational institution after saving your profile information.
  • After saving your profile information, Google Scholar will prompt you to select articles that belong to you.
  • RECOMMENDED: Choose "follow" to receive updates on additions and citations to works in your profile.

  • To choose how to manage article updates, Select the + symbol and choose "Configure article updates"
  • Choose "Don't automatically update" and confirm by clicking "Update Settings".
  • To easily add articles in groups identified by Google, click on "Add article groups." This will let you select groups of articles based on authors Google thinks are different. You can browse and select all groups that have articles that belong to you.


Wouldn't it be easier to let Google Scholar populate my articles?

Not in the long run. Google Scholar runs on artificial intelligence to populate author results. Some bots are taking advantage of AI to associate little known "scholars" as a co-authors with more prominent authors, sometimes listing dozens of authors on one paper. Target profiles are often referred to as "polluted" profiles. We know of one author whose Google Scholar Profile was populated with over 5000 articles using this method. Trying to remove these false associations is a losing game of Whack-A-Mole. Google Scholar has not responded to inquiries.



If you are leaving your institution you should change your associated email account to your personal Gmail account. Because if you lose access to your former work email you will also lose access to your Scholar profile. 

Institutional Google Scholar Pages

When individual faculty create Google Scholar profiles, you can also create an institutional profile page that gathers and combines all works together into one profile. This results in a page that can feature the most impactful works of the institution, and provide a rough count of total citations for all associated authors. There are several things to do to set this up:

  • Create a new Google account that will be used to create the institutional Google Scholar page.
  • Set up an institutional email account at your law school, like "" - this lets you not have to sacrifice a personal scholar account and lets you manage who receives the update emails (if anyone wants to monitor that).
  • Go through the Google Scholar profile creation process, but enter your institution's name, affiliation, and homepage like in the example screenshot below.


  • Once the institutional profile is created, you can add authors from your faculty roster to the profile by clicking on the + button and selecting "Add article groups."
    • Pro Tip: Law faculty should create their individual Google Scholar profile before you add them to the institutional profile. Some faculty may need your help setting up their profile, but then you can make sure they set it up properly. This enables a nifty two-layer updating mechanism that keeps changes made on individual profiles and institutional profiles in sync with each other. So, if an author makes updates on their individual page, those changes should automatically occur on the institutional page; and, likewise, if you make updates and corrections through the institutional account, those changes should also appear on the individual profile.
  • After the initial set up and adding all of your faculty works, there is not much to managing the institutional profile. The biggest investment of time with this is adding faculty initially, and then periodically adding and removing faculty as they transition over time. Adding new faculty is very easy and takes little time. Removing faculty takes more time than adding faculty, since you have to go through the list of works in the profile to remove works. This is not something that is done very often, so it should be manageable.
    • Pro Tip: We recommend having the institutional profile's update settings set to not update automatically. Periodically, a librarian will need to log in to the institutional profile and click the "Update articles" button to review and approve or disapprove changes.
    • Pro Tip: Most changes that Google Scholar suggests will be fine, but you will notice several that you do not agree with. We recommend scrolling through the list and individually disapproving items as they occur by clicking on the "Don't add" or "Don't edit" links below suggested changes, and then clicking on the global "Add these articles" and "Edit these articles" once you have removed the bad suggestions. If you try to click the approval links quickly and you have a lot of them, Google Scholar will lock you out for several minutes due to some sort of anti-spam mechanism.


  • Did you create an institutional Google Scholar profile for your law school? Share your link, and explore other profiles, using this Google Doc!

Attribution: The process to create institutional accounts on Google Scholar for law schools outline above is described in the article, Measuring Scholarly Impact: A Guide for Law School Administrators and Legal Scholars by Gary Lucas.