Googling and Beyond: Search the Web Effectively

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Tips for searching the Internet effectively and when to skip the Internet altogether. Used with high school students and teachers.

Tips for searching the Internet effectively and when to skip the Internet altogether. Used with high school students and teachers.

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  • 1. Googling and Beyond: Searching the Web Effectively N. Mellendorf, Librarian Maine South High School Library Resource Center Park Ridge, Illinois
  • 2. How do search engines work?
    • Keyword Searching
      • Any word on a page
      • Not the subject or content of a page
      • Results: lots of irrelevant stuff
    • Ranking
      • How often a keyword occurs
      • How often someone links to a page
      • Paid placement listings
    • The Invisible Web
      • Google indexes only 20% of the “visible” web
      • Dynamic vs. Static web pages
      • Database pages or Password protected pages
  • 3. Improve your searching #1
      • “ Quotes” for exact phrase
      • OR to allow any search terms
        • Ireland OR Eire
      • AND or + to require all search terms
        • Computers AND Apple
        • Computers + Apple
      • NOT or - to exclude a search term
        • Bush NOT Iraq
        • Bush -Iraq
      • Combine
        • “ Steroids” and “Football” not “Baseball”
  • 4. Improve your searching #2
    • Domains -- one type of site
      • .edu - a college/university
      • .gov - a government site
      • .org – an organization
      • Example: mythology site:edu
    • Definitions
      • Define:ethnocentrism
    • File types – one format
      • PDF -- Adobe PDF document
      • xls - Excel document
      • ppt - PowerPoint document
      • doc - Word document
      • Example: evaluating web filetype:ppt
  • 5. Search the Invisible Web: Directories
      • Narrow your search from a broad category
      • See how topics within a specific area are related
      • May suggest new terms that are useful in conducting a search
      • May be subject or organization specific
  • 6. Search the Invisible Web: Googling Deep
    • Google Scholar
      • Peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, and other scholarly literature
    • Google Books
      • Google Book Search index matches your search terms—you see “Book Results.” These links will lead you to a library or online store where you may borrow or purchase the books.
  • 7. Search the Invisible Web: Librarians’ Index to the Internet
    • Librarian-selected sites
    • Selection criteria: availability, credibility, authorship, external links, legality
    • Evaluative criteria: authority, scope and audience, content, design, function, shelf life
  • 8. Search the Invisible Web: Infomine
    • Includes databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.
    • Built by university librarians
  • 9. When to skip the Web altogether…
    • You need full-text articles from magazines and newspapers: use a subscription library database.
    • You need scholarly articles from peer-reviewed and academic journals: use a subscription library database or book.
    • You need an in-depth, original, narrative treatment of a topic: use a book.