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Graduate Students' Guide to the Library: Tricky Citations

Graduate students have specialized research needs. This guide provides tips and tricks for getting started, but we also recommend that you get to know your subject librarian for in-depth questions and support.

Tracking Down Tricky Citations

There are a few types of citations that are often difficult to find. Here are some tips and resources on finding a few different types of information.

Google Scholar

For all kinds of tricky citations, Google Scholar can be your saving grace. If you have just a partial citation (like an author, date, and subject) use the Advanced Search in Google Scholar to piece together the missing information.

Many universities are now publishing theses and dissertations in institutional repositories, which are freely available on the web and searchable via Google Scholar. You may be able to find recent dissertations on your research subject online!

Conferences and associations also sometimes publish their proceedings and publications freely online, so they may be accessible through Google Scholar.

Google Scholar is a go-to source for academic librarians, and you can use it too!


The U.S. government is a major collector and publisher of various types of statistical data. Here are a few places for finding government-gathered statistics.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a good alternative to regular Google, because Google Scholar provides a simple way to search for scholarly literature. Before you start searching in Google Scholar, you need to make sure that your account is connected to the UW Libraries. Follow these simple instructions to ensure that you are seeing content that we subscribe to when you search Google Scholar.