A bit of an odd question, but I would like to search for a phrase in articles from Science (the journal). Yet I cannot do this on Google Scholar--if I specify in the advanced search that the source is Science or "Science," I get results from all sorts of journals with the word "Science" in them. "Science Magazine" or any further specification yields zero search results. Furthermore, Science Magazine's website search is terrible, and returns every article in the issue of an article containing a search term (my search is for "hierarchical model").

Has anyone else run into this? Can anyone think of a search term trick that might help?

  • Most journal websites have a search feature to search for articles.
    – Kevin T
    Nov 14 '18 at 21:55

The site: qualifier can specify results from a particular URL.

In this case, searching "hierarchical model" site:sciencemag.org in either Google or Google Scholar seems to work.

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    site: is not the same as searching within a specific journal, site: is used to search within a domain. Jan 14 '18 at 10:49
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    @HermanToothroth Right; it's a hack to get around the problem. Specifically, they're already trying source:Science and source:"Science", but this seems to include references to papers in journals that have "science" in their title as opposed to just articles from the journal Science.
    – Nat
    Jan 14 '18 at 16:03
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    That's it right there, thanks a bunch. Now that I know what to look for, here's a list of search tips I found that includes the "site" keyword: wur.nl/en/article/Google-Scholar-13-search-tips.htm Jan 15 '18 at 3:46

Like Google, Google Scholar seems to support boolean operators. So one way to solve the problem would be to use "-source:[string]" (note the minus sign) to exclude by hand journals with names containing "[string]". This may take a few iterations of trial and error before you get only the results you want, and can of course also be used in conjunction with the "site:" qualifier to narrow things down further. E.g.

coffee source:"physical review" -source:"physical review letters"

Generally speaking, boolean searching is a powerful technique, and one that a lot of people seem to be unaware of.


You have to use source: followed by the name of the journal

For example, source:nature if you want to search in Nature

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    This is correct, though it's the same thing that they're already doing. This is, if you try to use Google Scholar's Advanced Search feature, then search for content from "Science", it'll convert it into with with the qualifier source:Science. The problem presented in the question is that this returns hits from sources that have "Science" in their name rather than just the actual journal called "Science".
    – Nat
    Jan 14 '18 at 16:06

Alternatively, you could use a big university catalog online search feature for this rather than Google Scholar. Note, you don't need to be affiliated with the institution to do a catalog search. The affiliation will only be required for the second step, pulling up article contents.


You could use a different academic search engine. All Science articles are indexed in MEDLINE, so you could use the following search to find "hierarchical model" in Science articles. It returns 8 results. It will find instances of this phrase in the article abstract, title, or full text, if the article is freely available.


Google Scholar - Advanced Search allows you to specify the name of the publication (put the name in quote marks to prevent the words being applied as if joined with AND).

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    This doesn't solve OP's problem, because it won't exclude longer journal names containing the journal name you specify. If you try to use this method to restrict results to e.g. "nature" you'll find plenty of search results from journals like "nature physics". Also see Nat's comment to Herman Toothrot's answer.
    – Anyon
    Nov 15 '18 at 19:28

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