Brainstorming with Google

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Ideas for brainstorming research topic using Google

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  • Highlight pros and cons Do not need to read individual points as students will have access to PPT through Infoguide
  • SLIDE hidden because of possible time constraints & not everyone wants to address Wikipedia—it’s up to you Will be included in extended PPT version posted on Honors College Infoguide
  • See above
  • SLIDE hidden because of time constraints. Time limitations may prevent in-depth discussion of Boolean searching during class. For more information on Boolean searching see additional PPT marked Boolean Searching Examples from OLLI L814 Library Research on the Wiki. More detailed PPT to be posted on HNRS 110 InfoGuides section Also idea of connecting search terms/Boolean searching will be addressed in the following Library Catalog library session
  • Try example search in Google using search techniques above or other techniques you find useful during instruction or reference.DEMONSTRATE with live search in GoogleChoose a search example you think would work well.Emphasize points you think are important when searching Google (e.g. Boolean searching, ways to refine your search, retrieve relevant results)
  • More advanced Google searching operators. Add these to a search to focus a search on particular pages.For each, compare the two searches that are separated by the slash. Instructor might demonstrate, or might split the class in half and have one half search one way and the other half search the other way.site:Allows search in a particular domain such as gmu.edu or loc.gov … also allows limiting to particular domain ranges, such as .edu sites.Example 1: 330 million hits vs. 21,000 hitsExample 2: helpful when researching topics for which there is a lot of non-academic info on the Webintitle:Searches page titles rather than entire pages. The logic is that if a term appears in the title, the page is likely to be relevant to that term. A page titled “Digital Photography” is more likely to be about digital photography than a page titled “Bob’s Photo Shoot.” Use with caution – easy to accidentally eliminate relevant information; titles do not always reflect page content accurately.
  • link:Shows what other pages link to a page. The logic is that the more pages there are that link to Page X, the more likely it is that Page X contains useful or relevant information. Also, when you find a useful page, seeing what links to it is a way to discover more pages on the same topic. Example is a site from CHNM at GMU.related:Finds pages that are considered similar by Google. Example of snopes.com returns truthorfiction.com, urban legends page at about.com, factcheck,org, etc.bit.ly link at bottom goes to Google Help page
  • Possible search technique to elaborate on
  • Also, not only does the Web constantly evolve, but Google’s search functionality evolves too! Google THIS WEEK released a new version of its search called Google Instant.
  • Also, not only does the Web constantly evolve, but Google’s search functionality evolves too! Google THIS WEEK released a new version of its search called Google Instant.
  • Also, not only does the Web constantly evolve, but Google’s search functionality evolves too! Google THIS WEEK released a new version of its search called Google Instant.No need to go into detail about it, but it illustrates the constantly changing world of information… to be a smart user/researcher you have to be agile and not get too tied to one particular search tool. A good researcher has a variety of tools in his or her toolbox, and can switch from one tool to another as needed. Google’s aim is fewer keystrokes; anticipating more searches via mobile devices? Via TV remotes? What will the future of Web searching look like?More info: Youtube video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElubRNRIUg4Wired - http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/09/google-instant-tv/Telegraph.co.uk - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/7991057/Google-Instant-the-technology-anti-climax-of-the-decade.html
  • Go into Google preferences and search for George Mason in the Library Links section – this activates the linkages between Google Scholar and Mason databases. The “Find it@GM” link is subject to authentication/proxy – you’ll have to log in if using this from off campus.Google Scholar is a side door to the house… another way into the library DBs.“Cited by” is one measure of item’s usefulness
  • Another tool in the toolbox. Using Google Books (examine a sample catalog record) as a supplement info source to help evaluate possible research materials.
  • Results are likely to include pages related to the baseball team unless otherwise specified.
  • Basic results are likely to be non-academic.
  • Basic results are likely to be non-academic.First example is okay, but also includes pages from college newspapersSecond example finds pages at .edu sites that contain a link to Gaga’s website.
  • The first example produces zero results – why? (default AND; there are no pages that are .edu AND .org)Examples 2 and 3 employ OR in different ways.
  • Searching for the terms as text may not be as efficient as searching for sailboat diagram.
  • Searching for the terms as text may not be as efficient as searching for sailboat diagram.
  • Please spend time highlighting the Infoguides onlineHonors College Infoguide as course guideDiscipline-based infoguide like Psychology, Art, History, etc.
  • Mention how during the research process you can start in Google to get background information, search term ideas BUT then take that information to the library to find books & articles…Note: High quality websites will take you to library resources (bibliographies, etc.)SuggestInfoguides as starting point for researchShow example of infoguide (Honors College & subject-based infoguide like art, psychology, literature)
  • Highlight pros and cons Do not need to read individual points as students will have access to PPT through InfoguideNot every resource every published—We have a lot but not everything—We’re more selective!
  • Brainstorming with Google

    1. 1. Getting Started: Using Google to Brainstorm Research Topics<br />
    2. 2. Brainstorming a Topic: Looking for Ideas<br />Think about a topic that interests you.<br />Consider the following idea-starters:<br />My friends and I like to argue about… <br />Someone believes…; however, I believe… <br />I think we should pass a law so that… <br />
    3. 3. Google<br />
    4. 4. Wikipedia<br />
    5. 5. Benefits of Google Searching<br />Become more familiar with a topic<br />Pick out search terms that can be used for library searching<br />Find bibliographies<br />Google Scholar, Google Books…<br />
    6. 6. Connecting Your Search Terms<br />Google & Research Databases offer this type of searching. Databases may present this option differently.<br />
    7. 7. Searching Google More Effectively<br />Limit your results by producer or organization: <br />site: .org .edu .gov<br />Refine searchoptions<br />Find recent websites - “climate change” 2008..2010<br />Synonyms - ~film-> movies, movie, cinema<br />Advancedsearch link<br />
    8. 8. Smarter Googling<br />Focus a Google search:<br />site: -- limits results to certain sites or domains<br />american history / american history site:loc.gov<br />libertarian / libertarian site:edu<br />intitle: -- limits results to pages with search terms in the page title<br />rosa parks king / intitle:"rosa parks" intitle:king<br />douglass abolition / intitle:douglassintitle:abolition<br />
    9. 9. Smarter Googling<br />Build from good results:<br />link: -- discover what other sites link to a site<br />historymatters.gmu.edu<br />link:historymatters.gmu.edu<br />related: -- discover other similar sites<br />related:loc.gov<br />related:snopes.com<br />
    10. 10. Googling continued-> Limitations<br />Quotation marks can be used around phrases <br />“climate change” <br />but they might eliminate useful results if too specific<br />barack hussein obama vs. “barack hussein obama”<br />Databases often DO require quotes around phrases.<br />Synonyms ~ work well with one-word searches BUT not with phrase searching like “climate change”<br />Many databases will retrieve similar terms like global warming, greenhouse effect…<br />Other limitations…<br />For more tips, see: http://bit.ly/moregoogle<br />
    11. 11. Limitations<br />Limitations of Google as a research tool<br />Google’s index doesn’t include everything that is online. (e.g., licensed resources)<br />Searches often have overwhelming numbers of results. Databases usually more focused.<br />
    12. 12. Limitations<br />Realities of the Web<br />Most info on the Web is not scholarly<br />Web is constantly in flux, being edited and indexed; inaccurate to think of Google info as a static “snapshot” of the Web <br />
    13. 13. Google Instant<br />Released Sept. 8, 2010<br />Revises results as you type<br />More info:<br />Introducing Google Instant (YouTube)<br />Could Reinvent Channel Flipping (wired.com)<br />Is this the best they could come up with? (telegraph.co.uk)<br />
    14. 14. Google Scholar<br />Google’s index of scholarly literature<br />Set Google preferences to get Mason resources (“Find it@GM”)<br />Google Scholar is one way to access resources, not the way.<br />Is the “cited by” information useful?<br />
    15. 15. Google Books<br />Useful in conjunction with library catalog (linked from catalog record)<br />May include book summaries, reviews, table of contents, selected pages, etc.<br />Links to purchase options BUT the library can often provide it for free.<br />
    16. 16. Can you find…<br />Authoritative information about the species of bird called the Baltimore oriole<br />
    17. 17. Can you find…<br />Authoritative information about the species of bird called the Baltimore oriole<br />Baltimore oriole –baseball<br />Baltimore oriole birds –baseball<br />Baltimore oriole +habitat<br />Baltimore oriole +plumage etc. <br />
    18. 18. Can you find…<br />Reputable academic discussions (essays, articles, etc.) about Lady Gaga<br />
    19. 19. Can you find…<br />Reputable academic discussions (essays, articles, etc.) about Lady Gaga<br />"lady gaga" site:edu<br />link:ladygaga.comsite:edu<br />
    20. 20. Can you find…<br />Information about George Mason (the man); limited to only .edu or .org sites, not .com sites <br />
    21. 21. Can you find…<br />Information about George Mason (the man); limited to only using .edu or .org sites, not .com sites <br />george mason site:edusite:org<br />(“george mason” site:edu) OR (“george mason” site:org)<br />“george mason” site:edu|site:org<br />
    22. 22. Can you find…<br />You’re building a model of an 18th-century sailing ship. What is the fore topmast studding sailand where does it go? <br />
    23. 23. Can you find…<br />You’re building a model of an 18th-century sailing ship. What is the fore topmast studding sail and where does it go? <br />sailboat diagram<br />
    24. 24. Brainstorming Alternative: InfoGuides<br />Starting point for ideas<br />By subject/discipline <br />Reliable sources evaluated by librarians<br />Variety of sources: books, articles, images, DVDs, primary sources<br />Resources you only have access while students at Mason<br />
    25. 25. Library Website<br />http://library.gmu.edu<br />
    26. 26. Library InfoGuides<br />

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