Plan: Your search strategy when using free internet resources

To make the best use of the free internet resources available, you should familiarise yourself with search techniques that will maximise useful, reliable and valid results. To make the best use of the free internet resources available, you should familiarise yourself with search techniques that will maximise useful, reliable and valid results. We will concentrate on Google and Google Scholar here.

To find the kind of information you will want to use in academic work, you should take advantage of the more advanced search functionality offered by Google below:

  • define: for definitions e.g. define:nuclear
  • related: for similar sites e.g. related:www.imperial.ac.uk
  • ~ for synonyms e.g. ~nuclear
  • “…” phrase
  • site and file type: UK “nuclear power” site:.gov.uk filetype:pdf
  • intitle: for word in title e.g. intitle:nuclear
  • Number range “nobel prize winner” 1989…2007 (the ellipsis between the dates acts as from-to)
  • Unit conversion: 1euro in usd, 1 inch in cm

Try these out in Google, or the search engine you usually use. What difference does it make to your results when you include search limits?

 


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