Search Engines for Academic Use: Google Search Tips
Building Your Search
All search terms count so Google will find pages containing all your search terms. In effect there is an implicit AND between your terms:
Similar words match: Google will return pages that match close variants of your search terms. So in the above query: child bicycle helmet, Google will also find children, bicycles, bicyclists, helmets.
Use OR to combine words/phrases with similar meaning. This will ensure that Google will find any of your search terms in pages retrieved:
Planning and executing your search. Take time to identify the key subjects/concepts in your research question and to think of synonyms. Examples:
The impact of holiday homes in rural areas in Ireland will look like the following in Google:
impact "holiday homes" OR "second homes" rural OR countryside ireland
NB: OR must be in upper case.
Add "type" of information being sought to your search words. Examples:
"central bank of ireland" "annual report"
“gender studies” bibliographies
"public health" ireland OR irish database OR dataset
"easter rising" digital
Cloud saas infographic
zoology portal OR directory OR "search engine“
Searching Within Specific Site/s
Search within a specific website by including site: before the URL of that website. Examples:
"ireland in a warmer world" site:met.ie (NB: no spaces between site: and met.ie)
site:europa.eu regulation 1008
Search within a type of website by including a URL suffix. Examples:
"wave energy" OR "tidal energy" OR "marine energy" site:ac.uk OR site:edu (This searches websites in universities and colleges in the UK and US. NB: site: must be repeated in an OR search).
"wave energy" OR "tidal energy" OR "marine energy" research site:se (This searches websites in Sweden where the URL has the se suffix).
Search within a defined group of websites by specifying which websites are included. Example:
site:www.independent.ie OR site:www.irishtimes.com OR site:www.irishexaminer.com OR site:rte.ie OR site:thejournal.ie “panama papers” “tax fraud” OR “money laundering”
Use quotation marks around phrases to ensure Google searches for the phrase and not single words. This is also useful when searching for the title of a paper, report, etc.
"freedom of information" "state bodies"
"fuel poverty older people and cold weather an all island analysis"
NB: for this last example exclude punctuation
Include a hyphen to search for terms that could be one, two or hyphenated words. Example:
straw-bale will pick up straw-bale, strawbale or straw bale
Use the asterisk symbol (*) between words where it is unknown what / if additional words might be present. This is useful to use with author names. Example:
"george * bush" will pick up George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, George Walker Bush
Searching For Specific Document Types
Search for specific document types by adding one of the following to your terms:
filetype:pdf (PDF publications)
filetype:ppt OR filetype:pptx (Powerpoint presentations)
filetype:xls (Excel files)
NB: not all publications are PDF and not all statistics are presented in an Excel file.
“time management” filetype:pdf
marketing filetype:ppt OR filetype:pptx site:ac.uk OR site:edu
site:cso.ie "leaving certificate" filetype:xls
- Last Updated: Apr 4, 2018 9:55 AM
- URL: https://libguides.ucd.ie/searchengines
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