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How to do Internet Research
This page is written to help you get results when
searching the Internet. Using just a few resources and a
search strategy, you should be able to find anything quickly.
The first step is to review the largest Search
Engines' (Google, Yahoo!, Bing (formerly Live Search, and those listed below) advanced instructions and use more than one
Search Engine. Search Engines index different pages
and have different abilities. If you take a few minutes to
review the advanced commands of the top Search Engines and
some of the other resources on the Internet, you will
save hours of time and you will almost always
find what you are looking for.
Find U.S. schools with Library of Science Degrees
from Info Pro Lindsay Samuels:
(Major Search Engines advanced pages only. Results
are compiled by
automated robots that search for and index web pages: good for specific searching.)
Top Search Engines (based on popularity): Google, Yahoo!, MSN
Live, Ask, AOL Search
Google Advanced search help;
Google Advanced page
Yahoo! Advanced search;
Yahoo! shortcuts and
More Yahoo! shortcuts
Advanced (formerly Live search) search options
Ask Search Tips and
Gigablast Advanced search
Search Engine Reference
Web Searching Tips from the experts at Search Engine Watch
Choose the Best Search Engine for Your...(search) from
Best Search Tools Chart from InfoPeople
All-in-One List - Search Engines and Directories
Finding Information on the Internet - A Tutorial
Thorough Research web log
Meta Search Engines
(These portals search several Search Engines at the same time - good
for general searching)
(Results are compiled
and indexed by humans
- subjects are more
specific and better organized than search engines, good for precise
Index to the Internet
WWW Virtual Library
Blog Search Engines (Results compiled
from Web Logs, Wikis, Social Sites and Micro-Blogging sites. Results
vary due to the rapid and continuous change within these sources)
Yahoo! Blog Search
Read a Blog
Developing a Search Engine Strategy
"For any given search
there is a vocabulary, slang, or other unique word set that will make
finding relevant results for that search easier." Tara
Calishan, Web Search Garage, Prentice Hall books, 2004.
Identify the question, determine what you do not know
and what the easiest information is to find (start there).
Establish a system to organize
the data: a Database, Spreadsheet, Word Processing document,
etc. Do this early and keep track of what you find.
Expect to run several searches,
refining your search as you see results. Be patient.
Find the terminology, jargon and
lingo of the subject and use this to frame your questions and
a Search Engine to form your question, use quotation marks
around your search term to require the exact phrase (or use
options in the Advanced section of the Search Engine).
Look at the results you got and then modify your search term by requiring or
excluding words or phrases:
wish to search within the results found for your original search
term, use plus (+) or minus (-) to add (require) or subtract
terms immediately after your search term. Most Search
Engines also recognize AND or NOT to substitute for + and -. You can keep
adding or excluding words or phrases until you narrow down the
results. Example search on Google, exclude brackets [ ] in
"researching the Internet" ] finds over 46,000 hits
the search term to search within those 46,000 hits: [
"researching the Internet" +jobs ] narrows it down to over 800;
the search term again to search within that 800: [ "researching
the Internet" +jobs -federal ] finds over 500, and so on.
You can keep adding or excluding words or phrases until you find
a manageable number of results.
your search term added to plus (+) and minus (-) phrases did not find what
you were looking for, start over with a new search term.
Alternatively, use another Search Engine since they index
different content, trying the same search phrases.
Look at your search as a process
that evolves, altering your search terms and phrases as you find new
information. Keep looking at results and modifying, look
for words or terminology that describes what you are looking for.
Locate experts in leading
industries, associations, universities, government agencies or
lobbyists representing the subject. Call and ask your questions.
of how the web site you are looking for would be constructed.
What phraseology might they use to get their message
across? Think "outside the box" in how something might be
described or the words that might be used on a web site you are
Be persistent: keep looking at results and
evaluating what your search is
finding, then adjust your search phrase. With patience, you
should discover what you are looking for.
Training: UC Berkley
Research-Quality Web Searching tutorial
If you still cannot find what you are looking
for, contact us for a free consultation. Telephone USA (239)
Also visit our Web Log, "Thorough
Research" for more tips, tricks and techniques to improve your
Internet search skills.