Searching is Easy - Finding, Saving & Organizing are Not !
Searching so you can Find & Retain, depends upon the
Where to Look
- Generalized Search Engines & Directories
- Specialized Search
Engines & Directories
How to Use -
- "Search Tips" or " Search Help" to
become a Pro
- 4 Tips to make you an Instant Search Pro
Research Tools & Techniques
- once you
have found it, don't lose it!
Where to Look:
Generalized Search Engines & Directories
Once upon a time there were Search Engines (AltaVista.com) and there were Directories
most search engines have a Directory option and most Directories have a Search
Search Engines use Keywords with various qualifiers and
options to find information of possible interest. Use the Search Tips or
Search Help links, which are usually nearby, to get better quality results.
Directories allow information to be found by selecting from broad
information categories which become narrower with each lower selection until you
down" to the desired information.
Which style you use is a matter or personal preference. Directories can be more
effective if you are not searching for something specifically.
Search Engine and Directory
Google is #1 in the number of Web Pages that are
included in its Search Engine and Directories. It is fast and accurate.
It detects potential spelling errors and creates a search link with the
Google also has specialized Searches for Images, Groups
(News or Discussion Groups), Directory, and News (4,000 continuously updated news
sources). For effective ways to use this site go to
Google Services & Tools
The Google Tool
Internet Explorer on PC/Windows can be downloaded and installed.
The Search form becomes part of your Internet Explorer
Web browser so searching is much more convenient (sorry, not available for Netscape or Mac).
Where to Look:
Specialized Search Engines & Directories
The Mayo Clinic is recognized as one of the world's renowned
sources for Health Information. While some of the information at
MayoClinic.com is indexed on Google, the MayoClinic.com Search will be more comprehensive
and current. There is also a Housecall Newsletter
can subscribe to for free via email - keeping you current on subjects of
How to Use:
"Search Tips" or " Search Help" to become a Pro
Once you have determined your favorite Search Engines
or Directories then it is worthwhile to look at the "Search Tips" or "Search
Help" links. Knowing how to search for phrases, exclude words, search for web pages
containing all the words, or search for web pages containing any of the words,
are examples of using the search capabilities more effectively. While there are
many common techniques each Search Engine has its own specific features worth
How to Use:
4 Tips to make you an Instant Search
The 3 Search Operators and 1 Search Command presented
below will greatly improve the Quantity (fewer) and Quality (more relevant) of
your Search Results.
Search Operators (work on most popular search engines)
"EXACT PHRASE" The
(double quotes) are placed at the very start and at the very end of the EXACT PHRASE (no spaces) to
Include Results of only those web pages that have this Exact Phrase.
"coca cola" (about 2,100,000 pages)
"coca cola is bad for you" (3 pages)
INCLUDE The + (plus sign) is placed next to the start (no spaces) of the
Word or Exact
Phrase to INCLUDE Results of only those web pages that have this Word or Exact
+cola +"bad for you" (about 3,890 pages)
- (minus sign or hyphen)
is placed next to the start (no spaces) of the Word or Exact Phrase (or Site:
Command; see below) to EXCLUDE Results of only those web pages that have
this Word or Exact Phrase
+cola +"bad for you" -coca (about 1,770 pages)
(work on Google.com only)
Google.com supports the following Search Command
(and others such as Language and Date).
Site:entity.domain (e.g. Site:ibm.com)
This Search Command will Include Results of only those web pages
from the specified web SITE.
It can also be used to
Include All Sites in a particular Domain.
For example SITE:edu means to
Include All .EDU or Educational Institution sites (to possibly improve the
integrity of your results).
When used with the Exclude Operator (-) it can be used
to Exclude Site results as well
per -Site:Stanford.edu (since
possibly you have already exhausted or analyzed that site).
With experience, users learn to love the relevance of
the Search Results presented by the Google Search Engine. This is probably
the most important factor in why users would prefer to start at Google.com
rather than going to specific web sites.
Site:ibm.com - Include Results from specific web Sites
"3D graphics" (about 769,000 pages)
site:ibm.com "3D graphics" (about 545 pages)
Site:edu - Include Results from All Sites in a Domain for example .EDU
"prostate cancer" (about 1,470,000 pages)
site:edu "prostate cancer" (about 82,000)
site:stanford.edu "prostate cancer" (about 736)
-Site:stanford.edu - Exclude Results from specific Sites
site:edu -site:stanford.edu "prostate cancer" (about
74,000 .EDU pages NOT from Stanford)
Googling - Advanced Search
Google's Advanced Search form gives you all of the Tips
above (and more) as follows:
Research Tools & Techniques
Web browsers are useful for casual or informal research
using Search Engines or Directories to look for the subject of interest.
See the Techniques section below to learn how to save
the results of your research with your Web browser.
Email Readers can receive Research information over
time, saving you the effort of going back to the Web site for updates. Job
Sites often have Job Alert options which can deliver output matching your
interests via email.
News Alerts via email are also available to let you
keep up with latest News Releases in your industry and possibly your competition
- Canada NewsWire - Portfolio Email
Signing up for Mailing Lists can also be used to keep
you current - but read the Privacy Policies. Make sure your email address
is not going to used for other purposes including being given or sold to third
parties - to help avoid Spam or Junk email.
The Search methods used above are based upon using your
Web Browser and Email Reader as the user interface. Below you will find
that there are specialized software packages that are more suited to doing
Research projects. That is they will assist in more focused searching, in
finding retention and or organization and more formal presentation.
PC/Windows - Copernic Agent Basic (Free),
Personal and Pro
enhanced searching, off-line storage and organizing functions for more formal
research projects. While designed to interface with Internet Explorer for
the result viewing process, Netscape can also be configured.
Copernic Agent Basic, provides access to more than 90
information sources within 10 search categories: The Web (plus one of the 14
language or country-based category), Newsgroups, E-mail Addresses, Buy Computer
Hardware, Buy Software, Buy Electronics, Buy Books, Buy Movies and Buy Music.
Mac - the Mac Version is no longer available.
Mac & PC/Windows - EndNote
is designed for
or Scientific research. Instead of accessing Search Engine contents
public and subscription databases. Examples of Public databases are the
library catalogs of the Library of Congress and of PubMed at The National
Library of Medicine. Institutions from around the world can accommodate
EndNote - including McGill University. EndNote provides control over bibliography formatting
with over 700 styles, and assists in manuscript
organization and formatting.
Research may not be the proper term but when you have
been browsing and you find something of value, you do not want to lose it.
Adding a Favorite does not always work since Web pages have a way of moving or
being deleted. You can print it but then you have to remember where you
filed it. You can save it on your computer hard disk but then you have to
remember to do periodic backups.
Internet Explorer Web browser techniques
1. Favorites - Make available offline and Customize.
When you add a Favorite you can select
near the top of the window so that they
Web page will saved on your hard disk for offline use. You can then go on
to which will
let you schedule updates from the Web to keep the offline information current.
You can also force an update of all Favorites that are "Make available offline"
by going to Tools | and selecting Synchronize.
2. Save as Web Page.
File | Save As | Save as type: .
This option will allow you to save a Web page to your hard disk so that it will
never be lost, as long as you back up your hard disk. Select where to save
on your hard disk with
Save in: - choose a folder,
and create a New Folder
with a meaningful name, before you
Save the Web page. You can then view this web page using File | Open with
your web browser, to access the web page file on your hard drive whenever you
3. Use a FREE Gmail email account to Save &
Organize what you find.
Draft Gmail email messages with their Subject: as the
Research Findings Topic (e.g. Subject: HEALTH - ARTHRITIS SYMPTOMS AND
TREATMENT) can be created with the following advantages:
- Gmail Search is like Google Search and it works on
the all of the Gmail.com information whether the email messages are Archived
or not. Deleted messages, deleted Drafts included, are lost forever.
- There is no need to create folders, apply labels or
filters etc. since Search will find it whether it is in your Drafts, In Box,
Sent Box or has been Archived!
- The Gmail Team looks after backing up the
information for you so you do not have to manage it on your computer and then
back it up in case your C: / Hard Drive crashes or your computer is stolen.
- You can have multiple Gmail Addresses if you run out
of space since they are free - one can be General Email and other can be for
Research Storage for example