Did you know Google Advanced Search allows you to refine and narrow your search?
Here are a few quick tips to get the most out of Google.
To access the Advanced Search you can go to: http://www.google.com/advanced_search
You will be presented with this search screen:
The “all of these words” box is the default searching option and is very similar to the normal Google search. Google will search for all of these words appearing anywhere in the document, not necessarily together. This search will often bring back a very large number of results.
The “exact word or phrase” box is the equivalent of a phrase search, so Google will surround those words with quotation marks and will only search for those exact words in the exact order you have put them in. So a search for “women and work” would not necessarily bring back results with “work and women” as a phrase.
The “any of these words” box allows you to search for words with similar meanings. So for example, if you wanted to search for “women and work” OR “women and employment” OR “women and labour” then you can do this in one search. See below:
The “none of these words” box allows you to exclude certain words from your search. So if you were interested in “women and work” as a topic, but specifically wanted to exclude information about American women then you could put “America” in the box, which would exclude results related to “America”.
Once you are happy with your search terms then you can also use the “Narrow your results by” functions. This allows you to filter your results further.
So for example, you can limit your results to a particular region or language. You can also specify where the search terms appear in the document using the “terms appearing” box, so you can specify that the terms appear “anywhere in the page” or “in the title of the page”.
The “site or domain” function is particularly useful as you can limit your search to only government websites (.gov) or British academic websites (.ac.uk) or organisational websites (.org). Any site with (.com) in the URL is a commercial site and so be aware of any potential bias in the information presented.
So if you wanted to search for information about “women and work” on British academic websites only, we would include this information in the “site or domain” box as below:
Please note: Google is NOT a substitute for using library resources, but it is useful for accessing organisational websites, statistical and government websites, industry news websites, parliamentary publications and stock market data. As with any information you find on the internet, always exert your judgement when evaluating how useful information will be for your academic assignments.