Becoming a search ninja.
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Becoming a search ninja. First. Know your enemy. Do not rely on google. Search engines vs. Library databases. They are both databases. Databases are robots. Robots search differently and find different material. Second. Ask the right question. Keywords and Phrases +

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Becoming a search ninja.

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Becoming a search ninja.


First.


Know your enemy.


Do not rely on google.


Search engines

vs.

Library databases


They are both databases.


Databases are robots.


Robots search differently and

find different material.


Second.


Ask the right question.


Keywords and Phrases

+

Syntax or Advanced

Search Forms


Learn to switch the way you think,

try different tactics.


Syntax

syn`taks/`syn,taks/

Nouna connected or orderly system: harmonious arragement of parts or elements.


The following slides describe search methods as they relate to google. However, the same basic ideas can be applied to all search engines and scholarly databases. With any database, the best way to learn and become a true search ninja is to use the advanced search forms and then look the syntax that was generated. From this you can deduce the syntax that was used and how you can use that same syntax directly for future searches.


Do not rely on google.


site:

filetype:

inurl:

OR

intitle:

Examples of Syntax

“ “

-

*

+

~

( )


The more search terms you enter, the more focused and specific your results will be.

ex.

Airport security

Airport security full body scans

Airport security full body scans ethics

Ninja Basics


You can put quotation marks around a phrase to force google to find those words exactly as you have written them.

ex.

“Airport security” “full body scans”

Ninja Basics


Ninja Basics

Use OR and parentheses to give google alternative terms to search.

ex.

(airport OR airline) (ethics OR rights OR risk)


The minus sign tells google to exclude web sites that contain these terms.

ex.

“full body scan” -MRI -”CAT scan”

Ninja Basics


Use “site:” to specify results from a particular web site or top-domain.

ex.

“Airport security” “full body scans” site:gov

“Airport security” “full body scans” site:nytimes.com

“Airport security” “full body scans” (site:nytimes.com OR washingtonpost.com)

Ninja Basics


Use “intitle:” to force google to find those words in the title of the web page.

ex.

intitle:airport intitle:security “full body” (ethics OR rights)

Ninja Basics


Use the tilde (~) to tell google to find related words.

ex.

~airport ~sercurity ~ethics

Ninja Basics


Get really fancy and put it all together!

ex.

intitle:security (intitle:airport OR intitle:airline) “full body” ~scan ~ethics

Ninja Basics


Third.


think.


Filter bubbles.


Google – and other search engines – don't find everything. Search engines can shape your results:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8ofWFx525s


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