Establishing a Research Routine with Google Scholar

November 24, 2021

We’ve addressed the importance of conducting market research more than once now, but one of the most important aspects of good research is creating a reliable routine. In the past, we’ve discussed strategies that help you gain a better understanding of your audience and their interests, but today we’re going to go in depth on building a solid formula for finding data and information you can use to improve your marketing strategy. No surveys in this one, but you’ll need your reading glasses, because we’re going to be doing a lot of reading.

Set a Goal for your Study

You’ll recognize a theme whenever we talk about first steps: they’re the most important. The same goes here, you’re going to want to define what you want to gain from your research. This is best done in question format, treat it as if you’re making short answers for a test. For example, we’ll say that you’re an enterprising aromatherapist trying to start their own product line. One of your research goals is to figure out which forms of aromatherapy are best at inducing a calming effect; to phrase it as a question, “Which aromatherapy products work best to induce a calming effect?”

Now, it is entirely viable to conduct a survey in order to get client testimonials, and make a decision based on their opinions. They are, after all, your customers. However, we’re going to take a different route and review multiple sources of information that are publicly available to you.

Google Scholar is your New Best Friend

For those of you who recently attended high school or university, you may be familiar with Google’s academic search engine, Google Scholar. Just like its original version, Google Scholar compiles results from keywords picked out of your query, with a focus on academic articles exclusively. The benefits of using a scholastic resource is obvious, as the need to verify the authenticity of claims made in articles found on Google Scholar is drastically lower than when using the regular search engine. There is a plethora of advantages you may not be aware of, though. Typically, these are articles that are published in medical journals, study materials, and government reports. Documents of this nature will aim to discover and inform, so there is a higher chance of gathering data pertinent to your research goal without even having to conduct any of that work yourself. Not only that, but the information gleaned from an article featured on Google Scholar will most likely be peer-reviewed, meaning the scientific community has come together and verified the work as being credible. Lastly, most articles that do answer your research questions will have secondary, but helpful information that can bolster your goals and improve your business practices even more than what you went looking for in the first place.

In our example, you may find that scientists have already identified and published what scents the majority of the population finds calming. We’ll say that’s lavender, and we’ll also say that they found that, while conducting a series of experiments, oil diffusion worked best when trying to induce a calming state. Not only have you discovered which product you’d like to brand as calming, you also found that the most effective form is lavender oil. Of course, this is only an example, but it a very real possibility— you’ve got to look to find out!
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