Presentations & Podcasts: The 8-Fold Path to Web Searching Power

The 8-Fold Path to Web Searching Power

Audio/Podcast [ZIP]
Handout [PDF]
Powerpoint [PPT]
Slideshare
Text of Slides

Date/Time: June 20, 2007
Title: The 8-Fold Path to Web Searching Power
Presenter: Patricia Anderson

 


Text of Slides:

  1. The 8-fold Path to Web Searching Power* * more of what you want, less of what you don’t Patricia F. Anderson June 20, 2007 pfa@umich.edu http://www.umich.edu/~pfa/pro/8fold/ © 2007 Regents of the University of Michigan. All rights reserved.
  2. Power Searching on the Web: Tips Quotation marks OR Parentheses Limit by site Limit by filetype + (plus sign) - (minus sign) ~ (tilde sign)
  3. Power Searching on the Web: Tips Quotation marks = Phrase searching OR = Concept groupings Parentheses = Multiple concept groups Limit by site Limit by filetype + (plus sign) = Stopword searching - (minus sign) = Exclude ~ (tilde sign) = Thesaurus or synonym searching
  4. Tip 1: Quotation marks for Phrase Searching This is most useful when the words to be searched are not very specific, have different meanings in various subject areas, when having the words adjacent to each other changes the meaning, or when it is important that the same word is repeated. “baby bottle tooth decay” “curve of monson” “head and neck cancers”
  5. Tip 1: Phrase Searching Results have fewer false positives.
  6. Tip 2: OR Use this when you want any of the terms, not all of the terms. Be sure to capitalize the word “or” so Google does not ignore it. “baby bottle tooth decay” OR “early childhood caries” OR “nursing caries” OR “milk caries” OR bbtd Child OR children OR youth OR teen OR kids
  7. Tip 2: Boolean OR Results have fewer false negatives.
  8. Tip 3: Concept group searching with parentheses Useful to group terms that should be processed together, at the same time and in the same way in the search, but which you want to combine with another concept or term. Question: Do sports drinks erode the teeth? Concept 1 = “sports drinks” Concept 2 = “teeth” Concept 3 = “erosion”
  9. Tip 3: Concept group searching with parentheses Note: This is most useful with complex questions, questions with many separate concepts, for which initial simple searches provide erratic quality results. EXAMPLE: Question: Do sports drinks erode the teeth? Concept 1 Terms = \"sports drinks\" OR gatorade OR \"isotonic solutions\" Concept 2 Terms = dental OR dentistry OR tooth OR teeth Concept 3 = erode OR erosion OR erosive OR \"tooth wear” OR caries
  10. Tip 3: Concept group searching with parentheses Question: Do sports drinks erode the teeth? Concept 1 Terms = \"sports drinks\" OR gatorade OR \"isotonic solutions\" Concept 2 Terms = dental OR dentistry OR tooth OR teeth Concept 3 = erode OR erosion OR erosive OR \"tooth wear” OR caries Can you put all those terms on one line like this? \"sports drinks\" OR gatorade OR \"isotonic solutions\" dental OR dentistry OR tooth OR teeth erode OR erosion OR erosive OR \"tooth wear” OR caries NO!!! There are three different ideas here. If you try this, you will get strange (& probably useless) results because Google won’t be able to tell them apart. Can you search each group separately, and then tell Google to mix and match the results of the 3 searches? I wish, but not yet.
  11. Tip 3: Concept group searching with parentheses So what can you do? This -- collect each group of terms by placing parentheses around them to show the beginning and end of a single concept group. Question: Do sports drinks erode the teeth? Concept 1 Terms = (\"sports drinks\" OR gatorade OR \"isotonic solutions”) Concept 2 Terms = (dental OR dentistry OR tooth OR teeth) Concept 3 = (erode OR erosion OR erosive OR \"tooth wear” OR caries) Becomes this: (\"sports drinks\" OR gatorade OR \"isotonic solutions\") (erosion OR erosive OR \"tooth wear\") (dental OR dentistry OR tooth OR teeth)
  12. Tip 3: Concept group searching with parentheses (\"sports drinks\" OR gatorade OR \"isotonic solutions\") (erosion OR erosive OR \"tooth wear\") (dental OR dentistry OR tooth OR teeth)
  13. Tip 3: Concept group searching with parentheses Note: You can use parentheses embedded within parentheses to describe complex concepts or streamline the use of repeated terms. “baby bottle tooth decay” OR ((“tooth decay” OR caries”) (“baby bottle” OR “early childhood” OR nursing OR milk OR bbtd OR ecc OR toddler))
  14. Tip 4: Limit by site This is useful when you want to control the quality of the search results, when you know a site that is likely to have what you need, and also when you want to find again a known document. Want government reports on oral health? \"oral health\" site:gov Want board review resources from the ADA, but without using their site search engine? (“national boards” OR “board review”) site:ada.org Remember a patient guide but not what organization released it? (mouthguards OR “mouth guards”) site:.org
  15. Tip 4: Limit by site (amoxil OR amoxicillin OR trimox or \"clavulanate potassium\") site:fda.gov
  16. Tip 5: Limit by filetype Especially useful when you have reason to suspect that the answer you need will be in a certain format, such as white papers, presentations, and technical standards. ((\"osteonecrosis of the jaw\" OR onj) (jaw OR maxilla OR mandible)) filetype:pdf (“oral hygiene” OR “oral prophylaxis”) filetype:ppt
  17. Tip 5: Limit by filetype (“oral hygiene” OR “oral prophylaxis”) filetype:ppt
  18. Tip 6: + (plus sign) = stopword search Use the plus sign to force the inclusion of stop words. Angle class +I malocclusion Use this to search foreign words with diacritics exactly as spelled. Émail fragile compared to +émail fragile
  19. Tip 6: + (plus sign) = stopword search Émail fragile compared to +émail fragile (phrase means “fragile enamel” in French)
  20. Tip 7: - (minus sign) Use the minus sign to exclude terms from results when there is a clustering of irrelevant results. This is most useful when you are new to searching a topic. tongue cancer -xxx -porn -pornography -paid craniofacial support -teens -youth -parents -child find dentist -site:.com
  21. Tip 7: - (minus sign) Demo of effectiveness of quick and dirty porn filter: tongue cancer -xxx -porn -pornography Results without filter = 1,530,000; with filter = 858,000
  22. Tip 8: ~ (tilde sign) Searches the selected term in thesaurus-mode (Google only). Results include a variety of related terms. ~child dental visits
  23. Tip 8: ~ (tilde sign) Searches the selected term in thesaurus-mode (Google only). Results include a variety of related terms. cancer survivor or ~cancer survivor
  24. More Search Strategy Tips Compare results from multiple search engines Use advanced search features Use concept and term suggestions Use reviewed search results/links Use special search engine features

 

 

Page maintained by Mark Chaffee
Last modified: 09/16/2009