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Internet: Overview

Searching the Internet

Advanced Google Searching

Google offers many search techniques to help refine results, similar to what can be done in a library database. For example:

  • Enclose keywords in quotes to search an exact phrase: "san fernando valley"
  • Enclose in parentheses and separate with OR to retrieve any of those keywords in the results: (csun OR "california state university northridge")
  • Add a minus sign to remove webpages containing a keyword or phrase: -parking
  • Limit search to specific website: site:.calstate.edu
  • Limit search to specific domain: site:.gov
  • Limit results by date of last update: From the results screen, click Search Tools and select time period from the Anytime menu
  • Get definitions or explanations of terms: define keyword/phrase, i.e., define "fiscal cliff"
  • Watch the Advanced Google Searching video for more help.
  • See also: Web Search Help for more tips and tricks for searching Google

More Search Engines

  • Google Scholar - (searches scholarly journals and other academic sources. To be able to link to full text available thru the CSUN library, click on "Settings," then "Library Links," and then search "CSUN" in the "Find Library" box. Select "Open WorldCat - Library Search" and "CSU, Northridge - SFX Find It at CSUN" and Save. You only have to do this once on your computer.) 
  • Google Products - (Google offers many productivity tools as well as other specialized search engines.)
  • SearchEngineWatch - (There's more to searching the Internet than Google! This is a comprehensive directory of search engines by type.)

Evaluate Internet Resources

The Internet can be a valuable source of information. However, remember to think critically about the authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, and coverage of the information you find, and check with your instructor to see if you can use the Internet as a resource.