Google and beyond


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Google and beyond

  1. 1. G o o g l e and Beyond How to get the most out of Search Engines Joe Barker John Kupersmith A “Know Your Library” Workshop Teaching Library, University of California, Berkeley Spring 2007
  2. 2. CRITICAL EVALUATION Why Evaluate What You Find on the Web? <ul><li>Anyone can put up a Web page </li></ul><ul><ul><li>about anything </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Many pages not kept up-to-date </li></ul><ul><li>No quality control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>most sites not “peer-reviewed” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>less trustworthy than scholarly publications </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>no selection guidelines for search engines </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Web Evaluation Techniques Before you click to view the page... <ul><li>Look at the URL - personal page or site ? ~ or % or users or members Domain name appropriate for the content ? edu, com, org, net, gov,, uk, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Published by an entity that makes sense ? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>News from its source? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www. nytimes .com </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advice from valid agency? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www. nih .gov/ </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www.nlm. nih .gov/ </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www.nimh. nih .gov/ </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Web Evaluation Techniques Scan the perimeter of the page <ul><li>Can you tell who wrote it ? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>name of page author </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>organization, institution, agency you recognize </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e-mail contact by itself not enough </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Credentials for the subject matter ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for links to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ About us” “Philosophy” “Background” “Biography” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is it recent or current enough ? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Look for “last updated” date - usually at bottom </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>If no links or other clues... </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>truncate back the URL </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Web Evaluation Techniques Indicators of quality <ul><li>Sources documented </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>links, footnotes, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>As detailed as you expect in print publications ? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>do the links work ? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Information retyped or forged </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>why not a link to published version instead ? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Links to other resources </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>biased, slanted ? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Web Evaluation Techniques STEP BACK & ASK: Does it all add up ? <ul><li>Why was the page put on the Web ? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>inform with facts and data? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>explain, persuade? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>sell, entice? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>share, disclose? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>as a parody or satire? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Is it appropriate for your purpose? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Research-quality Web Searching <ul><li>Search Google effectively and precisely </li></ul><ul><li>Know when to use other search engines and web directories </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate what you find on the web </li></ul>Goals
  8. 8. Searching Google <ul><li>Think “full text” = be specific war of 1812 economic causes vs. history </li></ul><ul><li>Use academic & professional terms domestic architecture vs. houses genome society gets International Mammalian Genome Society also try combinations with association, research center, institute, directory, database </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Specify exact phrases “tom bates” “what you're looking for is already inside you” </li></ul><ul><li>Exclude or require a word using + or - signs proliferation - nuclear bush legacy + environment </li></ul>
  10. 10. Google’s other databases
  11. 11. Why go beyond Google? <ul><li>Search more of the web Yahoo! </li></ul><ul><li>Get more options Exalead </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Take advantage of human selectivity – stand on the shoulders of Giants! </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians’ Internet Index InfoMine Google Custom Search Engines (CSE) </li></ul>