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John Kupersmith jkupersm [at] A “ Know Your Library ” Workshop Teaching Library, University of California, Berkeley Spring 2009 Research-quality Web Searching COURSE PAGES: G o o g l e and Beyond

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Research-quality Web Searching Search Google effectively and precisely Know when to use other search engines and web directories Evaluate what you find on the web Goals

How Google works:

How Google works BEFORE you search: “ Crawls ” pages on the public web Copies text & images, builds database WHEN you search: Automatically ranks pages in your results Word occurrence and location on page Popularity - a link to a page is a vote for it ~ 200 factors in all!

Searching Google:

Searching Google Think “ full text ” = be specific war of 1812 economic causes vs. history 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

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Specify exact phrases “ tom bates ” “ what you're looking for is already inside you ” Exclude or require a word proliferation -nuclear bush legacy +environment

Limit your search to …:

Limit your search to … Web page title intitle:hybrid allintitle:hybrid mileage Website or domain “ global warming ” site:edu “ global warming ”

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File type filetype:ppt site:edu “ global warming ” Definitions define:pixel define: “ due diligence ”

On the results page:

On the results page Search box (use to modify) “ Cache ” “ Related pages ” “ Translate this page ” Sample search

Let’s try it !:

Let ’ s try it ! Search Google Use our examples or your own topics

Google’s other databases:

Google ’ s other databases

Why go beyond Google?:

Why go beyond Google? Search more of the web Yahoo! Get more options Exalead

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Take advantage of human selectivity Librarians ’ Internet Index InfoMine Google Custom Search Engines (CSE)

Let’s try it !:

Let ’ s try it ! Try other search tools Compare results with Google

Let’s visit …:

Let ’ s visit … Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division

CRITICAL EVALUATION Why Evaluate What You Find on the Web?:

CRITICAL EVALUATION Why Evaluate What You Find on the Web? Anyone can put up a web page Many pages not updated No quality control most sites not “ peer-reviewed ” less trustworthy than scholarly publications

Before you click to view the page...:

Before you click to view the page... Look at the URL - personal page or site ? ~ or % or users or members Domain name appropriate for the content ? Restricted: edu, gov, mil, a few country codes (ca) Unrestricted: com, org, net, most country codes (us, uk) Published by an entity that makes sense ? News from its source? www. nytimes .com Advice from valid agency? www. nih .gov/ www.nimh. nih .gov/

Scan the perimeter of the page:

Scan the perimeter of the page Can you tell who wrote it ? name of page author organization, institution, agency you recognize Credentials for the subject matter ? Look for links to: “ About us ” “ Philosophy ” “ Background ” “ Biography ” Is it current enough ? Look for “ last updated ” date

Examine the content:

Examine the content Text possibly forged ? why not a link to published version ? Sources documented with links or notes ? do the links work ? Evidence of bias in text or sources ?

Do some detective work:

Do some detective work Search the URL in Click on “ Site info for … ” Who owns the domain? Who links to the site? What did the site look like in the past? (Wayback Machine)

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Which blogs link to it? What do they say? Try the URL in Google Blog Search See what links are in Google ’ s “ Similar pages ” Look up the page author in Google

Does it all add up ?:

Does it all add up ? Was the page put on the web to inform ? persuade ? sell ? as a parody or satire ? Is it appropriate for your purpose?

Try evaluating some sites...:

Try evaluating some sites... Search a controversial topic in Google nuclear armageddon prions danger “ stem cells ” abortion Scan the first two pages of results Visit one or two sites evaluate their quality and reliability

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