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BIOL 365: Research Methods in Biology

Web resources 

Web search tips

The following suggestions can help you search the web more efficiently. 

  • Search for important words only, that is words that you want to find in the search results.
  • For a more detailed search use Google Advanced Search or learn some of the ways to implement advanced search features using the basic search box. Here is how to use some of the advanced search features in the basic search box:
    • Use some of the strategies you would use to search databases:
      • Use OR to combine search words or phrases. For example: disease OR illness
      • Use quotation marks to search for phrases. For example: search for "climate change" to find web resources that include those two words as a phrase.
      • Use an asterisk to truncate a term and expand your search. For example: search resourc* to find results that include resource, resources, resourced, resourceful, resourcefulness, etc.
    • To make sure all the keywords appear in the title of your source type allintitle:your keywords and then hit enter. For example: allintitle:occupation health will retrieve results where the words occupation and health appear in the title.
    • You may also want to limit your searches to certain site domains. To do so type, for example, site:.edu or site:.gov in the search box before you hit enter. For example: if you search for "global trade" site:.gov you will get results that include "global trade" as a phrase in sites that end in .gov
    • Find sites similar to a particular site you know. For example: related:www.nih.gov 

Want to see some of this tips in use? Watch our Google Search Tricks video tutorial on YouTube.