Tips for Better Internet Searching
Before you start searching
- Focus your inquiry. What is the question you are trying to answer?
- Set parameters or guidelines for your search. How much information is needed? Do you need current sources or is back coverage important?
- Think about the kind of information you need. Can you use popular source materials or do you need academic or government research? Are you looking for a particular publication?
- Identify key concepts and create a list of search terms. Decide which terms are essential or most important to your search.
- Select the most appropriate database or Internet search engine for your inquiry. You may want to try multiple sources.
Finding the source material
- If the article is available in full text through the database you are using, print it at the library or e-mail it to your home or office to print at a later date.
- If the information you need is not available in full text, write down enough information to identify the article or book and request Interlibrary Loan service from your local library.
Learn more about preparing to do a search
- Alastair Smith's Searching the Internet Effectively. "Preparing for Your Search". Course taught by Alastair Smith for Victoria University at Wellington, New Zealand.
- Internet Navigator- Modules 1-4. Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC), Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah.
- Finding Information on the Internet: A Tutorial From UC Berkeley.
- Guide to Effective Searching of the Internet Your ability to find the information you seek on the Internet is a function of how precise your queries are and how effectively you use search services. Poor queries return poor results; good queries return great results. This lengthy and recent tutorial should be of tremendous help.
- Learn to Search the World Wide Web From SeniorNet. This is a free, self-paced tutorial that contains, in four lessons, information about the Web, explanations about how information is collected and organized and tips for how to find things on the Internet. Includes a glossary.