Think you know Search?

Search Skills

Before we get started on some of the more specific Google tools, how are you with using...

Google Books

There are really two aspects to Google Books; online book browsing and search, and selling books via the Play Store

About Google Books -

  • Search books by title, author or ISBN number Read the eBook version (if available)
  • See reviews, rating, related books
  • Buy the book via Google Play
  • Use the "Get the book in print" link to find a reseller OR find it in the nearest library for loan
  • Find in Library uses the WorldCat service (You'll need to have a free WorldCat account to use this)
  • Use the "Add to my Library" button to add it to your online collection
  • Create as many Shelves in your online library as you like.
  • Organise your books anyway you like.
  • Add all the books you read, or would like to read, and you have a searchable database of your book collection

Educational ideas

  • Get your students to create a Google Books account and add copies of their texts and novels.
  • For many of the older books you will be able to find full text versions. eg Pride and Prejudice, Tess of the D'Urbervilles
  • This eText can serve as an addition to the paperback version they may have
  • The eText version is fully searchable on any keyword
  • Search snippets will take you directly to the part of the book containing that reference
  • Many fulltext versions can be read entirely online, and many have a free ePub or PDF version for download
  • Students can submit a book review to the site (unfortunately each review lacks a permalink!)

Google Scholar

About Google Scholar -

Search tips for Scholar -

Citation Links

  • Resources are ranked based on complex algorithms that take into account relevance, frequency, interconnectedness.
  • Similar to PageRank, scholarly articles are assigned a kind of “ScholarRank” based partly on how many article cite them.
  • Look for Citation number. A large number of citations indicate a degree of importance
  • Click on "cited by" leads you to articles that cite the original article
  • "Cited by" give you an idea about the connections that exist between articles
  • Next to each article you may see links to PDF versions of the actual articles. Not all have these links, but some do.
  • If a PDF link is missing next to an article you want, try writing to the author, they will often share directly with you.

All the usual Google search operators also work in Scholar too, such as site: author: filetype: etc

Related articles

  • Related article are not necessarily cited but are somehow related
  • Library links > WorldCat
  • Location search will tell you where the closest copy of the book can be found
  • Versions can find different versions, editions, copies of the book

Advanced search for Scholar

  • Easy way to be very specific in your searches
  • ie Books about flowers, but not written by someone called Flowers
  • OR operator is useful
  • - operator ignores a search term, and + operator forces the inclusion of a search term Scholar preferences
  • Limit Languages
  • Limit libraries
  • Set up a Link Resolver to get Scholar to search your local school library Legal texts
  • Legal texts and opinions can be searched in Scholar, eg [roe v. wade]
  • Search for common phrases, eg [“reasonable expectation of privacy”]
  • There are limits on how far back the case law searches go, generally 50 years for state, 80 years for federal (mainly US based)

Scholar Pages

  • Some of the more prolific scholars may have Scholar Pages that contains complete lists of all their work and a record of all their citations, eg [Richard Feynman] [Daniel M Russell]
  • Find authors who have written articles of interest to you, and then see what else they might have written.

Google News

Think of it like a constantly updated global newspaper, edited by algorithms instead of human editors

About Google News -

Personalise your News Search

  • Click the gearwheel to access the News Search preferences
  • Use the sliders to assign the amount of news from each category you wish to see
  • Add or remove news sources you prefer to see in your news stream
  • Click "Settings" to manage the amount of blogs and press releases you want to see
  • Choose from Modern, Headline, Compact or Classic views of the news page

See the most recent news

  • Click the blue "See Realtime Coverage" button to see the latest news on a story as it happens.
  • Use the Advanced Search to be more specific about search terms and date ranges, etc
  • When searching on a specific term, use the Search Tools button to limit date ranges, etc
  • "Date" means the date a story was added to Google News
  • Google News Search is restricted to the last 30 days. Beyond that, use the News Archive Google News Archive

  • Access the actual scans of newspapers (Primary material)
  • Browse through time, great for comparison studies
  • A great resource to learn about how language and culture changes over time
  • Frequently asked questions about the Google News Archive
  • Strangely, there is no obvious direct link to the News Archive from the main News Search page

Google Alerts

  • A standing query that emails you a notification when it’s matched
  • Set up alerts on things you're interested in or want to research
  • Alerts on your school? your name? your children? your hobbies?
  • Good for getting the latest news and information delivered to you as it happens