Click for ginormous chart:

Source: How to Use Google Search More Effectively
Mashable, November 2011

Category: Digital Media

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

11 Responses to “How to Use Google Search More Effectively”

  1. JerseyCynic says:

    what a sin that citing wikipedia is considered “a deadly academic sin”

    I bet my “wiki degree” could prepare a course syllabus just as well as some college professor

  2. squire says:

    I have a better idea how about I use google the way I want and they figure out how to present the most relevant info. or someone else will.

  3. Julia Chestnut says:

    I just taught my husband about control F this past week. What I’d recommend is to become friendly with your neighborhood research librarian. Not only can they find anything, they can teach you all about the fantastic stuff that they have for free through the library’s website – not to mention the resources in the library. Google is never going to have anything on a librarian.

  4. gkm says:

    This is great. Thanks for posting.

  5. xynz says:

    As it turns out, I’m in the process of completing my PhD. I’ve used Google extensively as a starting point to find many interesting papers on my topic. But it is definitely essential to go beyond Google: by tracing the development of your topic through a nested sequence of bibliographies in the papers you find. Read the important* papers mentioned in the bibliography of the first paper that you found through Google, then use those paper’s bibliographies to find even more papers. Keep repeating the process and look for patterns: where the same papers/authors are listed in the bibliographies of many different papers.

    What papers are the most important? Besides manually noting the papers/authors cited most often in the bibliographies you’ve found , Google Scholar has an extremely useful feature which shows the number of times a paper has been cited. If your search turns up a paper that has been cited over 100 times, then you should read it, understand it, mention it in your report and include it in your bibliography. If your topic is very esoteric, then papers that have been cited more than 10 times are probably important. But make sure the number of citations hasn’t been artificially inflated by a significant number of self-citations or co-author citations. I’ve found papers that seem to have numerous citations, only to find most of them are by a group of co-authors who cross cite each other’s papers.

    Google is also a great way to find tutorials and introductions to topics, by using the keywords “tutorial” and/or “introduction” along with you topic search keywords. When doing this, I recommend limiting the results by using “site:edu”

    As far as Wikipedia is concerned….I’ve seen many entries concerning my topic*, but the information isn’t really that illuminating (let alone, worthy of a citation). However, Wikipedia articles often contain new keywords, external references and citations that do lead to useful information.

    *(Eigenanalysis of Multidimensional Time Series Data: mainly PCA via SVD)

    For those of you who are using computers built for the computer literate**, screenshots can be obtained with the “PrtScn” key to capture the entire desktop or “ALT-PrtScr” just for the active window.

    ** ;-P

  6. TheInterest says:

    Like the reference to the airspeed velocity of a swallow.

    KEEPER: Heh heh. Stop! What is your name?
    ARTHUR: It is Arthur, King of the Britons.
    KEEPER: What is your quest?
    ARTHUR: To seek the Holy Grail.
    KEEPER: What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
    ARTHUR: What do you mean? An African or European swallow?
    KEEPER: What? I don’t know that! Auuuuuuuugh!
    BEDEMIR: How do know so much about swallows?
    ARTHUR: Well, you have to know these things when you’re a king you know.

  7. dsawy says:

    Most people could learn quite a bit if they just read Google’s own documentation on their search product:

  8. Grego says:

    dsawy@9:15 pm, you’re right– except that basic information is fairly well hidden behind a layer or two touting their products. And if you don’t even know there’s something you don’t know, like the vast majority of Google users, it might as well not be there at all. It took me several minutes to find something similar to your link (and couldn’t remember how I did it 5 minutes later), and never did find a path to the exact “support” section you linked to before concluding some things aren’t worth the time. I’m guessing you…. googled it? “Google’s mission: Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. ” Irony is not dead.

  9. kevinc says:

    Nice post, another Big Picture editorial gem. Also, I hope Apple’s / Google’s / whoevers corresponding “personal digital assistant” can do more with enhancing searches in the future.

  10. jaymaster says:

    Good stuff!

    But coincidentally, google let me down big time yesterday.

    I couldn’t find a simple address with google without paying somebody!

    Not a good sign. Their reign might be over.

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