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2. Type "site:" to search for information within a certain website or domain. (no space after the colon)
3. Adding a ~
Adding a tilde (~) to your search term will return related terms.
Example: ~nutrition will search also nutrition, food and health
4. Phrase Search
By inserting quotes around an exact phase, you will search only the words you type in, in that exact order with no words in between term.
Example: "consumer product chemistry"
5. Boolean Operators
Using AND, OR, NOT can broaden or narrow a search depending on your inquiry. "AND" will give you results that contain both words. "OR" will give results about either word and "NOT" will not search the term preceding.
Example: Summer AND Flower, Summer OR Flower, Summer NOT flower
Use the C.R.A.P test to determine whether or not a website is something you should use for research:
When was the site’s last update?
When was the information compiled originally?
Is the information still valid or is it out of date?
Are references included that verify the information’s source?
Are the references provided correct and accurate?
Is the information consistent with other sources on the topic?
Are there mistakes in spelling and word usage?
Who is the author or organization responsible for the information?
What are the author’s credentials? (experience, education, academic or professional affiliations)
Are the expert and the webmaster the same person?
Purpose / Point of View
Is more than one viewpoint or opinion expressed?
Is the information presented as fact or opinion?
Is the site’s purpose to inform? To entertain? To persuade? To explain? To advocate a cause? To sell a product?
Does the author use emotionally charged language?
Practice Click Restraint
Video Transcript for How to Find Better Information Online: Click Restraint
- [Narrator] Most students think the top result
of a web search is the most trustworthy.
They often click on the first search result
and hardly ever go beyond the first page.
This is a problem because search results can be manipulated
by the use of clever search terms and metadata.
Companies engage in search engine optimization
to push some entries to the top
and move others to the bottom.
Ads can appear at the top of search results,
forcing other results down, too.
Sometimes, this can place
less trustworthy information sources
above more reliable ones.
Our research with professional fact checkers show
that they have a different approach
to evaluating search results than students.
Instead of immediately clicking on the first
or second result, fact checkers practice click restraint.
Before clicking on any result,
they first examine the titles, the URLs, and the snippets,
the brief information under each result, for clues.
They look for trusted sources.
By engaging in click restraint,
they first get a sense of the information neighborhood
in which they've landed before clicking on any result.
Students, by hastily clicking on the first search result,
can end up on a problematic site
that leads them to even more problematic sites.
The result, shaky conclusions based on dubious information.
Before clicking on anything, fact checkers scan
the list of results.
Are certain groups trying to influence the conversations?
Might it be helpful to go to the second page of results?
Students need to understand
that search engines aren't truth detectors.
The information they present needs to be deciphered.
Click restraint allows students
to get a general sense of the information
about a particular topic before they dive in, head first.
With practice, click restraint becomes a habit,
a way of practicing just a bit of caution
before taking a wrong turn.
Spending just 15 to 30 seconds examining
search results can make a big difference
in students' ability to avoid misleading sources online
and find trustworthy ones.