Research Help

Research Help Tutorial:
Easy Web Searching Using Reliable Sources

Text Version

Sometimes you may need to find information that is only available on the Internet or more easily accessed on the Internet to be used to support your schoolwork. We’ll look at how to expedite searching Google and Yahoo.

For example, you are going to write a paper about something related to human rights. A regular Google search for "human rights" will come up with varying results. As is often the case, the first link is to Wikipedia, which your professors aren’t too crazy about.

However, Google uses the plus "+" symbol with extensions to narrow your search. For instance, if you were looking for a government based source, you would add "+gov" after "human rights" in the search box. Note that there isn’t a space or a dot in between the plus sign and the extension.

Now your results contain only governnment related sites and documents. The first 2 hits are from the US state department. If you click on these links you will be presented with a page containing a left navigational column that contains links to reports, statistics, fact sheets, and other information pertinent to your research.

The most current government documents are now online versus paper.

Using "+org" will pull up sites that have organizations related to human rights. Organizations have different objectives. Some organizations are think tanks while others are activist groups. Be sure to read the “about” section of the site and look to see who sponsors the site. Use information on the “about” page of organizations to determine their agenda.

A final quick way to search Google is to add "+edu" to your search. Varying results will come up that are connected to universities. These will often contain encylopedias, syllabuses, university organizations and library resources.

Using the "+" symbol is the quick and easy way to narrow your search results on Google and Yahoo by the different type of publishers, namely, governments, organizations and educational institutes.