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Orientation at USC Libraries

Resources and activities for USC Libraries Orientation

Customize Google Scholar for USC Libraries

Searching Google Scholar can be a great way to find resources! However, we highly recommend that USC students customize Google Scholar to connect to USC Libraries and avoid paywalls and copyright issues. See the tutorial and directions below about how to set up your preferences.

To learn more about advanced searching on Google Scholar and citation tracking, visit our Google Scholar Guide:

Setting Google Scholar Preferences

Google Scholar is a great resource for finding scholarly sources online. It allows you to link into USC Libraries subscription database content so you can search for and access content without having to go directly to the libraries' website. There are 2 ways to do this: 

1) Use the Google Scholar link on the USC Libraries homepage, which will authenticate you as being affiliated with USC: 

Image of Google Scholar Link on Libraries Homepage

2) Set up your Google Scholar Setting to include USC Libraries "Find It @ USC" links

Follow these steps to add USC to your Google Scholar preferences:

  1. Go to
  2. Click the expandable menu in the upper left-hand corner of the screen:
    Screenshot of Google Scholar Homepage with arrow pointed at expandable menu
  3. Then click "Settings" from the menu list:
    Screenshot of Google Scholar Menu Options with arrow pointed at Settings
  4. Select "Library links" from the left-hand menu. Then, in the search box provided type "University of Southern California" and click search.

    A list of results will be returned. Check the box labeled, "University of Southern California - FIND IT @ USC". Then click Save. You must save these preferences in order to see links back to USC Libraries in your search results.    

               Screenshot of Google Scholars Library Links tab
  5. After saving your changes, you will be returned to the Google Scholar search box. Once you type in your search and get a list of results, some will include those available at USC libraries. Click the "FIND IT @ USC" link that appears next to the title of the article to see if we have access to this content in print or online.
    Image of Find it @ USC option next to article title.
  6. If we have access to the article online you will be prompted to log-in with your USC NetID. Once you log-in you will be taken to the article. If we do not own the article you will be taken to the Find It @ USC page where you can submit an Interlibrary Loan request.