Where do you start? The first step in any Internet search is to locate a site (or program) that specializes in searching. There are many, many sites available - each one trying to fit the special needs of a variety of users. By selecting the best Search Engine, Meta-search Engine, or Subject Directory you will be able to find what you are looking for in the most efficient manner.
What are you looking for? In order to select the best search tool, you will need to analyze your topic. Decide the best way to go about it by asking yourself some questions. l Does your topic have distinctive words or phrases associated with it? Is your topic too general or broad (too many unrelated pages will be found)? l Do you want an overview or would you rather search a specific aspect of your topic?
What tools are available? Unless you know the exact address of the site you want to locate, you will need to use a computer program that retrieves documents or files or data from a database or from a computer network. There are many, many of these available and they generally fall into three categories, search engines, meta-search engines and search directories. Search Engines often use an index that is regularly updated to look for files after the you have entered search criteria. Search Engine: you want to search using specific keywords Only when you click on a link from the search result, is the current version of the page retrieved.
What tools are available? Meta-search Engines do not own a database of Web pages; they send your search terms to the databases maintained by search engine companies. In essence, they search other search engines. Meta-search Engine: you want to use specific keywords and compare results from multiple services
What tools are available? Subject Directories (also called Web Directories or Search Directories) include human-selected Internet resources and are arranged and classified in hierarchical topics. Most search engines and portals have a subject directory component or Partner. Subject Directory: you want to browse by subject category (general to specific)
Next Step. The next step in searching is to use the right terms to bring you the best results. After you have analyzed your topic and determined the type of engine you will use, you will need to know what to type into the search field. By determining whether your topic is broad or narrow, specialized or specific, you will be better able to decide on the best method to use when you perform your search. Your choice of search method will make a huge difference on what pages are returned.
Types of searches. Keyword Searching A word searched for in a search command. Keywords are searched in any order. Use spaces to separate keywords in simple keyword searching. Using synonyms will broaden a search that is returning too little. Phrase Searching More than one keyword, searched exactly as keyed (all terms required to be in documents, in the order keyed). Enclosing keywords in quotations " " forms a phrase in some other search tools. Sometimes a phrase is called a "character String." Advanced Searches Search engines have become very "user friendly" and many have added an Advanced Searching feature that will combine different search phrases and operators within one search. All you have to do is provide the keywords and parameters in the search fields and the search engine puts it into the correct syntax that it recognizes.
Boolean Logic Boolean logic refers to the logical relationship among search terms, and is named for the 19th century British mathematician George Boole, who is recognized for developing the reasoning that computer science follows. Boolean terms: OR – This search asks the search engine to look for articles that have either of the key words in them. AND – The search engine looks for articles that has BOTH key words in them. NOT -- The search engine looks for articles that include the first search word, but NOT the second. A Full Boolean search includes the typed Boolean commands, OR, AND, NOT. An Implied Boolean search uses Spaces between words to stand for OR The + (plus) sign to stand for AND The - (minus) sign to stand for NOT
Thank you That’s the end of our presentation, now lets begin the practical exercise.