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Internet research tips, tools and techniques for the Administrative Professional


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Slides from Webinar given for Lorman Education Services on October 29th, 2014.
Contents: How to formulate an effective search, Searching the Web effectively using Google, Evaluating the Information you Find.

Published in: Internet
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Internet research tips, tools and techniques for the Administrative Professional

  1. 1. Internet Research Tips, Tools and Techniques For Today's Administrative Professional
  2. 2. Internet Research Tips, Tools & Techniques  How to formulate an effective search  Searching the Web effectively using Google®  Evaluating the Information you Find Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 Presented by Elizabeth Geesey Holmes, M.S.L.I.S., M.A. Director of Library Services Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP
  3. 3. About Elizabeth Geesey Holmes  Information Professional  Librarian  Internet Search Specialist  I help attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants find authoritative information efficiently and cost effectively
  4. 4. How to formulate an effective search Part I
  5. 5. How Keyword Searching Works  Looks everywhere for your search terms  Is “dumb” (unless we help it)
  6. 6. Choosing Search Terms FIRST  Reflect on your topic and focus on its main points  Think of terms that describe those main points  If you get stuck do some background research or reading
  7. 7. Choosing Search Terms THEN  Think about Synonyms  Think about Broader and Narrower Terms  But make keywords as specific as possible  Search: antique lead soldiers (specific)  Search: old metal toys (imprecise)  Try the obvious first  Search: Picasso NOT Search: Painters  Use words likely to appear on the site with the information you want  Search: luxury hotel New York NOT Search: really nice places to spend the night in NY
  8. 8. Keyword Example  Topic: The impact of substance abuse on crime in the United States  Concepts: Impact, Substance abuse, Crime, United States  Synonyms and Broader/Narrower Terms: Effect Dependence on Illegal substance Drug abuse Alcohol abuse Drug use Drugs America U.S. US Criminal Crime rates criminality Misdemeanor Felony Offense
  9. 9. Google Search Wikipedia Entry
  10. 10. Keywords and Google®  Google® is a very forgiving search engine  More keywords deliver fewer results  Be careful with Synonyms  The order that keywords are entered in Google® will affect the search results  Beware of homographs, especially in a one keyword search  Search: bat  Results: Both results about baseball bats and bats (the animals)  Search: bat baseball  Results: Just on baseball bats
  11. 11. Choosing Search Terms FINALLY  Try “throwing” all your keywords into a Google® search and see what comes up.  These search results may give you clues to other keywords to include or eliminate from your next search  Then use Google® specific search strategies and tips
  12. 12. Searching the Web effectively using Google® Part II
  13. 13. #1: Check Your Settings!
  14. 14. How to find your settings Click here on main search page Click here from search results page Select Search Setting s
  15. 15. Search results settings to check  SafeSearch filters  Make sure box next to Filter explicit results is unchecked  Google Instant predictions  Click the button next to Only when my computer is fast enough  Private results  Click the button next to Do not use private results  Where results open  Check the box next to Open each selected result in a new browser window
  16. 16. Location Settings
  17. 17. #2: Use Search Operators
  18. 18. Boolean Logic  A system developed by mathematician George Boole during the 19th century that uses a series of connectors to define relationships between objects
  19. 19. Boolean Connectors: AND  Google Default  All of the keywords are present  Search: probate law  Results: Both the term probate and the term law
  20. 20. Boolean Connectors: OR  One keyword or the other, or both keywords are present  Search: probate OR law  Results: will all have the term law or the term probate NOTE: You must capitalize OR otherwise Google will treat it as a stop word and ignore it
  21. 21. AND versus OR Probat e AND Law Probate Law
  22. 22. Boolean Connectors: NOT (-)  No results with this keyword are returned  Search: Ann Tyler –author -novel  Returns results with the keywords Anne, Ann and Tyler, but without the keyword author, and without the word novel  Use this technique to find results for your former classmate Ann Tyler, but not for the novelist Anne Tyler
  23. 23. Proximity Searching: Asterisk (*)  Search: Elizabeth * Holmes  Results: Include:  Elizabeth Geesey Holmes  Elizabeth G Holmes, BUT also  Elizabeth Spencer, Amy Holmes
  24. 24. Proximity Searching: Asterisk (*)
  25. 25. Phrase Searching: “ “  Use for searching exact phrases or words  Use to stop Google from stemming  Enter your phrase or word in quotation marks  Search: Ed Braks  Results: Ed, Edward, Braks and Breaks  Search: Ed “Braks”  Results: Ed, Edward and Braks – NO Breaks
  26. 26. Word Stemming  A search for clerk will also retrieve results with the keywords: clerked and clerk  A search for swimmer will also retrieve results with the keywords: swim and swimming  Not really a search technique but something to be aware of when searching Google®
  27. 27. #3: Filter Your Search Results
  28. 28. What if I just want News Articles?
  29. 29. Very important button to click Results limited to NEWS
  30. 30. Filtered search results in Basic View Filtered search results in Standard View
  31. 31. #4: Know when to use Basic Search (you can use it for some neat search shortcuts)
  32. 32. Use Basic Search As…  Your starting point  Refine your keywords, narrow results, or use Boolean search operators and other search strategies to get more relevant hits
  33. 33. Use Basic Search As…  A tool to look up simple facts  Population Ecuador  President Poland  Capital of Massachusetts
  34. 34. Search Answer
  35. 35. Use Basic Search As…  A calculator  7 * 2 + 4  sqrt 78
  36. 36. Use Basic Search As…  A dictionary  Search: define: ipso facto  A spell checker
  37. 37. Use Basic Search As…  A weather forecaster  Search: weather 02903
  38. 38. #5: Use Advanced Search
  39. 39. How to get to Advanced Search 1. Do a Basic Search 2. Click on GEAR Icon 3. Choose Advance d Search
  40. 40. Boolean search using the Basic search box Boolean search using the Advanced search page
  41. 41. Paid advertisement “related” to our search Only “Ann”
  42. 42. Click on these down arrows to bring up options and select one
  43. 43. Limiting Results to Specific File Formats  Enter your search words in the Boolean search boxes at the top of the page  Scroll down to narrow your results by File Type  Choose the file type from the drop down box  Example #1: Limit search results to .ppt to find presentations posted to the web on your topic  Example #2: Limit search results to .pdf to find minutes of a meeting that are posted in .pdf form
  44. 44. Limiting Results to a Specific Website  Search one website domain name or limit your results to a specific domain extension like .edu, .org or .gov  The command to do this in basic search is site:  Example #1: Limit to the domain name of a site that doesn’t have it’s own search button or that does not have a good search option  Example #2: Limit to the domain extension .edu to find just results from education institution websites
  45. 45. My keywor d search Limited to the domain name for the Barrington Town website Limited to the file type .pdf
  46. 46. Notice how all my results are .pdf format and from the domain: www.barrington.ri.go v
  47. 47. More ways to limit your search  Limiting results to where your search terms appear in the website  In the title of the page  In the text of the page  In the URL of the page  In links to the page  Limiting results by date updated  Past 24 hours  Past week  Past month  Past year
  48. 48. Don’t panic! If you forget to limit your initial search:  Click on the Icon gear at the top right of the page  Click on Advanced Search  Add the additional criteria to your search OR  Click on Search Tools at the top of the results list  Choose your limits from the drop down menus here  NOTE: Not all the options are here  Use the Advanced Search page to get ALL the options for limiting your search
  49. 49. Why Use Advanced Search  Indispensable in refining your searches to bring the relevant results to the first pages  Fill in the box format means you don’t have to remember specific search commands
  50. 50. Evaluating the Information you Find Part III
  51. 51. Why Evaluate Websites  No one judges the quality or accuracy of information found on the Web before it is published  Some sites are created by experts BUT – the majority of websites are designed and authored by non-experts  Many sites exist to sell the reader something BUT – others exist to inform and provide information
  52. 52. Criteria for Evaluation Perform an I.R.S. Audit  Identification  Reputation  Sources
  53. 53. Identification  Who is the author/creator of the website?  Check the About or History section of the website  Take note of any names  Can’t find this information? Use a WhoIs site  Check professional directories or university websites to identify the author and verify their credentials  Is the author an organization?  Check for relationships with known and trusted groups, companies or organizations  Search for articles or news reports that mention the organization  If nothing can be found consider using another source
  54. 54. Reputation  Do an Internet search for the Author of the website
  55. 55. Reputation Has the person or organization published articles or books on related topics? Does the Author have a Bias? Is the website trying to sell you something? What is the domain extension? How many web pages link back to this site?
  56. 56. Sources Are there any? How old are they? Are they verifiable? Are they reputable?
  57. 57. Case Study #1
  58. 58. Case Study #1
  59. 59. Case Study #2
  60. 60. Case Study #2 Author
  61. 61. Case Study #3  A word about Wikipedia and Sources  Don’t dismiss all Wikipedia articles  Many have lists of sources used which can lead to other useful and credible websites  You can view the history and source for any article
  62. 62. Case Study #3
  63. 63. Trust but verify -- The I.R.S. way
  64. 64. Resources  Official Google® Blog   Google® Search Help Center   Nancy Backman’s Google® Guide   Every Google® Search Operator You’ll Ever Need  youll-ever-need/
  65. 65. More Resources  (Rumor Has It)   WhoIs   Who Links 2 Me 
  66. 66. Contact Information Elizabeth Geesey Holmes Director of Library Services Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP