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Inquiry Research: Internet Searching

What is Boolean Searching

Boolean searching is the traditional way to search for information in most online databases and on the Internet. Boolean operators or connector words, such as AND, OR, and NOT, are used to create phrases and concepts based on specific rules of search logic.  

Operator Examples Results
AND


business AND ethics
cooking AND Spain

Retrieves records that contain    
ALL of the search terms.
OR


hotels OR motels
www OR world wide web
theater OR theatre

Retrieves records that contain
ANY of the search terms, but
does not necessarily include
all of them.
NOT


java NOT coffee
Clinton NOT (William OR Bill)    

Excludes records containing
the second search term.
 

Google Search/Website Evaluation

Evaluate your selection before using:

1. Authority?

  • An individual? An organization? An educational institution?
  • What education or experience makes them an expert?

2. Objectivity?

  • What is the purpose of the site?
  • Basic information? Persuasion? Selling something?
  • What is the motive? Beware of bias (especially from .orgs)

3. Currency?

  • When was the site created? Last updated?
  • Is this current enough for my research?
  • Do the links work?

4. Content Quality?

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Does the author credit sources or give references?
    • References are different than links to “additional information”!

Internet Searching Tips

Purdue OWL: Searching the World Wide Web

Provides information on the different ways of locating material on the Web including using search engines, searching the invisible Web, and using Web directories.

Invisible (or Deep) Web information, from UC Berkeley

Explains why 'typical' Internet searches don't search the whole Internet...and what you can do to access the invisible web.

Google Search Query Formation

Word Order Matters

Search Tips

Sweet Search