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Search Tools

Page history last edited by Amy H 3 years, 4 months ago






Search Engines


Google     http://www.google.com/

Google is a search engine that makes heavy use of link popularity as a primary way to rank web sites. .   You can create domain specific searches by using this format:  search term site:.domain name e.g.  frogs site:.edu  This is especially helpful for U.S. Government searches (limit to site:.gov).  Google uses + for the Boolean AND.  Google advanced search:  http://www.google.com/advanced_search



Bing     http://www.bing.com

A general search engine powered by Microsoft.

Excite       http://www.excite.com/

Excite offers a fairly large index and integrates non-web material such as company information and sports scores into its results, when appropriate.


Duck Duck Go        https://duckduckgo.com/

This search engine promises that they do not track or save your searches. 


Ask.com    http://www.ask.com/

They encourage natural language searching in the form of questions.  Includes a subject directory


Yahoo  https://www.yahoo.com/

Both a search engine and a directory, yahoo also tries to be a news portal.  The Yahoo Finance section is an excellent source for information about companies 


Startpage   https://startpage.com/

Google search without google tracking. 


Wolfram Alpha    http://www.wolframalpha.com/

"A Computational Knowledge Engine" and a directory, this is a new approach to searching, including solving mathematical problems.  It also has a fee based "pro" version.


Internet Archive:  Wayback Machine         https://archive.org/web/

Looking for a web page that no longer exists?  Want to understand the history of the web's growth by looking at how a site has changed?  Search the Internet Archive of cached pages beginning with the first WWW pages. 


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Meta-Search Engines 

Yippy    http://yippy.com/

 Searches a variety of sources and search engines.  You can use the left hand menus to sort by category within results, to sort by time, and to see the sources.

Dogpile     http://www.dogpile.com/index.gsp

Popular metasearch site that sends a search to a customizable list of search engines, directories and specialty search sites, then displays results from each search engine individually. Owned by Go2Net, which also owns MetaCrawler. 


Ixquick        http://www.ixquick.com/

Meta search engine that ranks results based on the number of "top 10" rankings a site receives from the various search engines. 


Infotopia     http://www.infotopia.info/
Infotopia is an academic search engine accessing only trusted websites previously selected by librarians, teachers, and library and educational consortia.  Infotopia is recommended for students, teachers, and, especially, homeschoolers.  Infotopia was created by, and is maintained by, Dr. Michael Bell, former chair, Texas Association of School Librarians.  Powered by Google, sites are safe but not all academic, including Smoop & Cliff Notes. 


About.com       http://www.about.com/

Over 2 million Generally good annotations done by "Guides" with various levels of expertise.


Yahoo        http://dir.yahoo.com/?skw=directory

Yahoo is now known as a search engine, but it began as a directory (sites organized into categories).  The directory is still available, and includes a "just added" feature. 

World Wide Web Virtual Library    http://vlib.org/

One of the oldest and most academic directories on the web, the categories are written and maintained by subject experts.  "The WWW Virtual Library (VL) is the oldest catalogue of the Web, started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of HTML and of the Web itself, in 1991 at CERN in Geneva. Unlike commercial catalogues, it is run by a loose confederation of volunteers, who compile pages of key links for particular areas in which they are expert; even though it isn't the biggest index of the Web, the VL pages are widely recognised as being amongst the highest-quality guides to particular sections of the Web."


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Subject Specific Websites and Directories


All Recipes       http://m.allrecipes.com/?mxt=t06rda

There a lots of recipe sites available;  this one is all user submitted recipes, often with comments and variations by other users.  You can search in several ways, including by ingredients.


DIY Network    http://www.diynetwork.com/

Do it yourself -- the website goes with the television network of the same name.  The focus is on home repair and remodeling.  You can also check out the web site for the TV show This Old House


Car Talk Do It Yourself Guide    http://www.cartalk.com/content/do-it-yourself-guide-1
Many public libraries have Chilton Manuals either in print or online, and some have other auto-related databases -- look for those first. 


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Scholarly Sources and Open Access Journals


Google Scholar        http://scholar.google.com/schhp?hl=en

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature.  Please remind students that the resources there may not be available for free.  However, there are sometimes links to full text.  If you are working with a student whose school has Google Scholar as a database, be sure they log in through their school web page so the links to full text are enabled.  Note that you can limit to only patents, and also limit your search results by date in the left hand menu.  It is also possible, if you have access to a University library to search linked to library resources.  Check first to see if Google Scholar is listed in the database list.  If not, you can send the student these instructions: At the top right of the Google Scholar homepage, click on "Settings", then on the upper left of the next page, click on "Library links". Then search for your college name, and then check the box and click "Save". That setting then shows which material your library has available online when you do a search.


CrossRef                 http://www.crossref.org/index.html

"CrossRef is an association of scholarly publishers that develops shared infrastructure to support more effective scholarly communications. Our citation-linking network today covers over 67 million journal articles and other content items (books chapters, data, theses, technical reports) from thousands of scholarly and professional publishers around the globe."   Includes a DOI search;  no full text, but correct citations and publication information.


Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)          http://doaj.org/

A collection of Open Access, peer reviewed journals in a variety of subjects.  Searchable and includes full text.


PQDT                                         http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/search.html

Open Access Theses and Dissertations.  Searchable, and linked to PDF full text, from authors who have chosen to make their work openly available.


Public Library of Science             http://www.plosone.org/search/advanced?noSearchFlag=true&query=&filterJournals=PLoSONE

Another collection of Open Access Journals, primarily in the sciences.  Searchable.

"PLOS (Public Library of Science) is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization founded to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication."


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Business Listings and Telephone Directories


Foursquare    https://foursquare.com/

Reviews by individuals of businesses, largely focused on food and entertainment. 


Yelp  www.yelp.com

User reviews of a wide variety of businesses.  Searchable by location and by star rating.


YP   http://www.yellowpages.com/

One of several Yellow Pages on the web, this is the online version of the business telephone directory


Superpages.com    http://www.superpages.com/

Business listings in telephone book format.


Yellowbook     http://www.yellowbook.com/

Includes white pages, reverse lookup, and  map feature.


Manta        http://www.manta.com/

Directory for small businesses, searchable by location.


Citysearch   http://www.citysearch.com

Uses IP address information to show you local sites, but you can search for other areas.  Also has guides to major cities.  A membership feature is available, as are customer reviews.



See also People


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Social Media

Note that Facebook, Linked In, and other social sites have advanced search features and searches limited to sections of the site (LinkedIn's People search, for example) but all of them require that the user be logged in.  You can suggest the advanced search to people looking for businesses or celebrities.


Social Searcher   http://www.social-searcher.com/

Provides links to mentions by social media site and an analytics page.  You have to provide Facebook URLs for FB content, and there is a professional option for more detailed paid searches.



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Search Strategies


Google Like a Librarian    http://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/bitstream/handle/2152/11616/GoogleLikeALibrarian.pdf?sequence=5

Interesting article about teaching faculty advanced google searching skills


See also College Assignments

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Online Classes and Instructional Videos

Many libraries are now offering online instruction from several vendors.  Look in the database, e-learning or digital resources sections for Gale Courses, Lynda.com, Mango Languages, Learning Express and others. 


25 Top Sites for Educational Videos     http://www.refseek.com/directory/educational_videos.html

Includes both sites with individual videos on topics, and sites with online courses.


Kahn Academy    https://www.khanacademy.org/

Videos on a wide variety of subjects;  the quality of the content varies, but many students find them helpful.  It asks for a sign in, but you can click on subjects and go to a subject list or search box.


MIT Open Courseware   http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm

Complete classes, but also helpful for specific subject questions. 


Coursera    https://www.coursera.org/

One source for many MOOCs  --- massive online classes, from a variety of sources. 



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The Business of Search Engine Optimization and Analytics


eBiz Guide    http://www.ebizmba.com/

Lists top search engines, social media sites and many others, based on page views and unique users.


Search Engine Watch    http://searchenginewatch.com/

They were doing SEO before it had a name.  If you're a business person, a web designer, or you want to understand search tools from a marketing business standpoint, this is the site for you.


Google Analytics    http://www.google.com/analytics/standard/ 

The standard site includes some free information and training materials.  Fee based services are also available.



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updated 8/26/2015 AAH
Links checked 9/7/2016

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