Using Google Scholar to find scientific finance articles

Summary:  If you want to do some research about scientific finance yourself, try using Google Scholar. Be prepared for a lot of the material you find to be esoteric. Nevertheless, Google Scholar is littered with diamonds that can improve your understanding of personal finance and save you money.

 If you want to do some scientific finance digging yourself, a good way to start is to use Google Scholar. To navigate to Google Scholar from the Google homepage, go to < >. Click "more >>", click "even more >>", scroll down the left hand column, and click "Scholar,"  < >. You are now in the vast land of academic papers on the web, which are usually published in Adobe .pdf format. 

Once you are in Google Scholar, select "Advanced Scholar Search" and type just a few key words in the green shaded "Find Articles" area. Also, in the "Subject Areas" section select the button named "Return only articles in the following subject areas" and check the box for "Business, Administration, Finance, and Economics." Hit return and you will see some normal looking Google search results. Scan the list and pick the papers that seem interesting. 

The standard format of almost all academic papers is to have an abstract at the beginning, plus introductory and concluding sections. You can learn quite a bit from reading only these parts of academic papers, especially if you do not want to wade through the statistics, equations, graphs, and tables. Also, pay attention to the "Cited by (some number)" on the bottom line of the Google Scholar search listings. The number of citations can be an indication of how important this paper is considered to be by other researchers. 

When you attempt to find a paper from the search listings, you will sometimes discover that it is in a paid subscription repository. Nevertheless, you still may be able to find the full paper on the web. Very often the right hand side of the top line of the Google search listing with indicate "- group of (some number) >>." If you click this, you will find a list of the instances where this paper is published on the web. By going through these listings, often you will find a website that publishes the paper without a charge. In addition, there sometimes are also html versions or cached versions of the article available. 

Another way to find a paper is to navigate to the academic author's website and look for a copy of the paper there. One quick way to find a finance professor's website is to use the Worldwide Directory of Finance Faculty. This directory is sponsored and maintained by the Ohio State Department of Finance and the American Finance Association. It has a searchable index of 3,810 individuals at 918 colleges and universities around the world with the vast majority at U.S. educational institutions. Individual listings contain links to the school and/or personal websites of these financial academics. This directory also lists 648 finance professionals at non-academic institutions. (Directory numbers are as of February 15, 2007.)

Be prepared for many of the academic materials you find to be esoteric. Nevertheless, Google Scholar is littered with (electronic) diamonds, which can significantly increase your scientific finance knowledge and save you money. Happy hunting.