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Seminar Research: Searching

“Google' is not a synonym for 'research'.” 
Dan BrownThe Lost Symbol

The Goal of an Online Search is to get the right information, of the necessary quality in a reasonable amount of time.  So how do we do that without just wadding through vast amounts of results.  The main thing we want to do is to developed a strategy to make our searches the most efficient.

The Needle and the Haystack.

Some times online and database searches feel like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.  So how do you make it more efficient?

Utilize specialized online search engines and syntax commands to get closer to what is is you are looking for.  Google is not the only player in the game


  • Clustering search engines: cluster results by topic or type of result
  • New Aggregators: curate news from reliable news sources around the world
  • Social Media Search: searches social media sources - timely but evaluate for bias and accuracy
  • Metasearch Engines: search multipe search engines for varied results
    • Fefoo at
    • Goofram at (Google and Wolfram Alpha)
  • Charity Rankings and Reviews


Syntax commands
Phrase search  " " To search for a group of words in an exact order,  "Martin Luther King, Jt" or "search engine" "the band that sang hold your head up"
Site search site: To limit searchs to a particular site or domain Pair with -to eliminate hits from a site or domain


File type Filetype: To limit results to certain file types


In Url or In title



Limit results to those with terms in either the URL or webpage title

Inurl:equal justice initiative

intitle:martin luther king

* To find a search term within a page, use the "find" feature on the web browser (CRTL+F command)