Tag Archives: Google+

Check Out These Tips for Improving Your Google Search

You probably have been using Google your entire academic life.  But there is more to this search engine than typing in keywords.  Improve your Google search by utilizing some of these recommended tips useful for all types of research.

Google Searching Image

Improving your Google Search: Tips and Tricks to help you master the simple search

1. Site: To find pages within a specific site type “site:” followed by a website or domain. Example: site:latimes.com

2. Exclude words: To exclude a term from your search use the minus (-) sign in from of the term. Example: Taylor Swift –sucks

3. Similar words: Use the tilde (~) sign in front of a word to search synonyms. Example ~college will also retrieve university.

4. “Quotation Marks”: Searches the exact phrase instead of individual words. Example “Global Warming”

5. Number Ranges: Include two periods when you want to search within two number ranges. Suitable for years, prices or series of numbers. Example: Oscar winners 2000..2014

6. Document Type: To search for a particular document type such as a pdf, PowerPoint, doc, jpeg. Example: filetype:pdf

7. Definitions: Put define: in front of a word for a quick definition. Example: define:impetuous

8. Calculator: For simply math problems consider using Google (+,-,*,/). Example: 365/5*12

9. Unit Converter: Easy unit converter, just type what you would like to convert such as temperature, volume. Mass, area, speed, length, or time. Example: 3 quarts to cups.

Have questions? You can always Ask a Librarian for help!

- Jamie Johnson

Secret Google Tips

Google imageYou probably use Google all day, every day.  Google’s default search is powerful enough to easily get you good results most of the time.  But did you know there are ways to use Google to get precisely what you want?

Google Scholar searches as broadly as possible for academic research.  It’s a good choice for very specific or obscure topics. You can even use Google Scholar to access CSUN subscription content

Another option for authoritative websites is searching by a specific domain, like .com, .edu, or .gov. Just add site:.edu to your search terms to look only at results from educational institutions, or site:.gov to your terms to search only US government websites.

For example, if you search for crime statistics, you’ll get a mix of police departments, newspaper reports, Wikipedia, and real estate websites, which might not be reliable, precise, or current. But if you search for crime statistics site:.gov, your very first result will be the official FBI Uniform Crime Statistics – the most detailed, comprehensive reliable source for crime statistics in the US.

Did you know Google has a reverse image search?  Maybe you’ve found the perfect image for a presentation, but you don’t know the photographer to cite. Start at Google Image Search, then click on the camera icon to the right of the search bar.  You can upload a picture or paste in an image URL, and Google will display pages that include matching images.

If you’re taking a course in Education or Child & Adolescent Development, you might want to find webpages by reading level – basic, intermediate, or advanced.

Google reading level

More options are available at google.com/advanced_search.  You can limit your results by language, country, date last updated, and more.

For more help using Google, ask a librarian!

- Laura Wimberley

Library Outreach Round Up for the Year

With the spring semester coming to a close soon we thought it would be fun to look back at the ways in which the Oviatt Library has been busy with outreach all year working with students, staff, faculty and the community. The beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year brought in a wave of new students and opportunities to introduce them to the campus and Library resources and services. Approximately 1,500 CSUN students attended 16 Library sponsored booths and learned how the Library can assist them to be successful with their research and in their classes. Many students were not only happy to receive useful information but also with the many Library vendor donated giveaway items such as highlighters, notepads, pens, water bottles, reusable grocery bags and more. CSUN parents were also involved with Library activities when approximately 80 parents attended Library tours during last fall’s campus Parent Day festivities. Parents were introduced to the many ways their students can gain research support and were able to ask librarians questions about the many Library services and resources available to their students.

Northridge Middle School Students Visiting the LibraryLocal non-CSUN students have benefited from Library involvement as well. Numerous Library tours and lectures for elementary, middle and high school students opened up the opportunity for approximately 1,800 students to learn about what the Library has to offer and what might be possible for them as future CSUN students. Many of the students were not aware of the 150 databases available for research or how they could get help from a librarian when not in the Library. Students from Granada Hills Charter High School (which recently won the National Academic Decathlon for the second year in a row) and Northridge Academy High School attended 43 Library lectures which supported their successful research and evaluation of online sources. These visits to the Library also help to acclimate them to campus as many of these students will become CSUN students after high school.

There’s also been a lot happening with the Oviatt Library community online. The Library has been having fun on Pinterest the online pinboard. Check us out if you have not already done so. The Library Fun board will likely bring a smile to your face with its clever images and sayings while the Digital Archives Pin of the Day board highlights significant historical digital images not to be seen elsewhere. Much of the material in this collection is associated with local history and it’s interesting to see which new archived resource is featured each day. The Library has also been busy with Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. We recently reached our 1,000th follower on Twitter who was delighted to receive a prize package celebrating that achievement. Finally, several Message in a Minute videos were released for faculty to keep them updated about our resources and services. If you haven’t seen them yet you can take a look at our YouTube channel. You don’t need to be a faculty member to appreciate their information and spirit but their topics range from Searching Cited References, Interlibrary Loan and Video Furnace. While you are there you may want to check out our Xtranormal videos as well. These animated videos have been a fun way to keep students and those using the Oviatt Library informed about changes such as Library hours and services.

Well, it’s been quite an active year at the Library. What’s been your experience during these last two semesters? Have you visited the Library in person, perhaps checked us out on our Pinterest pinboards;  YouTube; or followed us on Twitter?

-Coleen Martin