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DBS Library Internet Searching Series

Internet Searching

Internet search engines Below are some general Internet search engines and catalogs. No search engine or catalog is comprehensive, so it's important to try a variety of tools.

Search Engine

Web address



Google Groups


Ixquick Metasearch

Metacrawler Metasearch


Selective web guide : IPL

Selective web guide : LII

Selective web guide :

Before you begin Before you begin your search consider the following 1. What UNIQUE WORDS, DISTINCTIVE NAMES, ABBREVIATIONS, or ACRONYMS are associated with your topic? These may be the place to begin because their specificity will help zero in on relevant pages. 2. Can you think of societies, organizations, or groups that might have information on your subject via their pages? Search these as a “phrase in quotes”, looking for a home page that might contain links to other websites on your subject. 3. What other words are likely to be in any Web documents on your topic? 4. Do any of the words in 1, 2, or 3 belong in phrases or strings -- together in a certain order, like a cliché? Search these as a “phrase in quotes”. (E.g., “affirmative action” or “communicable diseases”) 5. For any of the terms in 4, can you think of synonyms, variant spellings, or equivalent terms you would also accept in relevant documents? 6. Can you think of any extraneous or irrelevant documents these words might pick up? You may want to exclude terms or phrases with -[no space] before each term, or AND NOT What BROADER terms could your topic be covered by? When browsing subject categories or searching databases on your topic, try broader categories.

Dublin Business School Library 13/14 Aungier Street | Dublin 2 | Phone: 01-417 7572 19/22 Dame Street | Dublin 2 | Phone 01-417 8745 Email:

Building your search Building a query requires the use of Boolean operators that allow you to refine and extend the terms of the search. The Boolean operators most often seen are:

• AND - All the terms joined by "AND" must appear in the pages or documents. “+" also used for AND. • OR - At least one of the terms joined by "OR" must appear in the pages or documents. • NOT - The term following "NOT" must not appear in the pages or documents. "-" also used for NOT. • FOLLOWED BY - One of the terms must be directly followed by the other. • NEAR - One of the terms must be within a specified number of words of the other.

Special operators for Google Vacation hawaii

finds pages containing the words vacation and Hawaii .

Maui OR Hawaii

finds pages containing either the word Maui or the word Hawaii

"To each his own“

finds pages containing the exact phrase to each his own

virus –computer

finds pages containing the word virus but NOT the word computer

media studies

search DBS website for media studies

Oscars 2000…2004

(Search for information on Oscars between 2000 and 2004

budget Ireland date: 3

search for Irish budget references within past 3 months; 6 and 12-month date-restrict options also available)

safesearch: sex education

search for sex education material without returning adult sites


finds websites with marketing in the url


definitions of the word computer from around the Web.

~auto loan

loan info for both the word auto and its synonyms: truck, car, etc.

Information quality It is necessary to carefully evaluate any information you find on the internet. The quality of information can vary a great deal. You must ask yourself the following questions: • Who is the author/publisher of the material? • Are they a reputable source? • What are their reasons for providing this website? • Are they impartial or biased towards a particular viewpoint? • How up-to-date is the website? • How recently were the web pages updated? • Do all the links work? • Has the information been well presented? • Is the site easy to read and to navigate? • Can the information be accessed all the time and at an acceptable speed?

Check out the help section on any of the search engines you use as they often have good hints and additional options for searching.

Referencing It is important to reference any material you use from the internet as you would with any textbook or journal article. The principles of referencing internet sources involve the same basic principles. Additional details you need to note include the complete url for the page you have referred to and the date on which you accessed it. A guide to referencing which includes examples is available in the Library.

Dublin Business School Library 13/14 Aungier Street | Dublin 2 | Phone: 01-417 7572 19/22 Dame Street | Dublin 2 | Phone 01-417 8745 Email:

Internet Searching  

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