Limit your search to one specific domainCertain magazines, like the New York Times and the Economist are often used as style standards. When I run into an expression that I’m not sure is standard, or a capitalization or hyphenation question that doesn’t quite match any rules in the style I’m using, I’ll often search the New York Times or Economist websites to see how they handle it.
To get results from a specific site, use “site:/” and then the name of the domain, followed by a space and then your search term. For example:advanced search” from the main Google site, and then entering the site under “Search within a site or domain.”
How to use Google Scholar to help you with scientific and academic writing and editingGoogle Scholar is extremely useful for editing scientific and academic documents because you can limit your search not only within the academic literature, but within a particular area like biology, chemistry, physics, or medicine.
Let’s say you’re editing a chemistry paper and you come across an unfamiliar use of the term “headspace.” If you just do a regular Google search for headspace, you’ll get references to hair salons and mental health groups. Not helpful.
Instead, try Google Scholar:
- Go to the Advanced Scholar Search
- Select “Search only articles in the following subject areas:”
- Select “Chemistry and Materials Science”
- Type in “headspace” and click “Search Scholar”
- Voilà, relevant results
If you’re writing, you can check your phrasing this way. Maybe it’s late at night, you’re getting tired, and you’re not sure whether to say that the samples were “relatively dilute” or “relatively diluted.” If you plug each phrase into Google Scholar (put quotation marks around them so that you’re searching for that exact phrase, not the two words separately), you’ll see that “relatively dilute” gets 6,840 hits, whereas “relatively diluted” only gets 488. That gives you a quick answer to go on with.