Google hacks for Uni research

Use these tips and tricks to get the most from Google

While everyone searches with Google, finding good information can be done a lot more efficiently if you use some of the tools and tricks available.

For example “inverted commas” enable you to search for a particular phrase or term e.g. “market analysis” or “information technology” or “Julia Gillard”

You can also search within a specific website or domain, which is often more effective than the search box on the website itself, for example a search of the ABS website for resources on housing:

housing site: abs.gov.au

You can also search for alternative terms (synonyms) so that you get all the useful versions of a word by joining the alternatives with ‘or’

house OR home OR dwelling

Advanced Search on Google will give you all these options & more –  select Advanced Search from the settings wheel on the top right of the page.

In an advanced search you can select by file type (e.g. search for powerpoint presentations), limit results to a particular date range or search only within the title.

Visit the Google guide <http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=136861&rd=1> and Hack College’s brilliant infographic on all things Google <http://www.hackcollege.com/blog/2011/11/23/infographic-get-more-out-of-google.html>

Google Scholar <http://scholar.google.com.au/>is  an excellent tool to search for quality, scholarly academic articles and reports.  It not only finds freely available stuff, you can also set it up to search across many of the QUT library content – depending on what publishers allow.

To set this up from outside QUT

  1. Select Scholar Preferences from the setting wheel on the top right
  2. In the Library Links box do a search for QUT – you will be able to select from there the QUT library.

This will enable you to link your results to the content available in subscriber only QUT databases.

However, remember a lot of reports and financial or company data don’t make it into Google Scholar because of publisher restrictions.

And of course, with whatever you find – take a look to see who the author is, whether the material is original research, whether any claims have been backed up with good reference and when and where it was published.

Be aware that if you log in to Google, from the 1st of March it will be tracking and using your search history to modify its advertising and search results so, though you can take steps

Happy Googling!

Comments are closed.