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Searching the Internet
Search engines - make them work for you.
Click on the headings below for more information.
Select the best keywords
- Be specific in the keywords you enter in a search engine. The more specific you are, the more relevant your results will be.
- Nothing relevant? - change your keywords
Use advanced search options
- Advanced search will let you restrict your search to a domain, a time period, a format and many more options.
Phrase searching – using quotation marks
- If your search term is a phrase rather than an individual word, enclose it in inverted commas.
For example “Benefits of massage”. This means that you want these words to occur in the exact order within the document.
Logic – using logical operators (Also known as Boolean operators)
- AND Links two terms with the operator AND, requires that both terms MUST appear in the document. For example, Sydney AND Olympics will retrieve only pages with both terms present.
- OR Links two terms with the operator OR, will return results where either word appears in the document. For example, computer OR PC will retrieve pages using either term
- NOT Allows you to remove all pages from the results list containing a particular word. For example: drug abuse NOT alcohol will return pages about drug abuse that do not refer to alcohol.
- Use a + sign in front of a word to ensure that the word appears in the results, but do not leave a space between the + and the word. For example, +Macbeth +film
- Use a -sign in front of a word to exclude it from results. For example, to search for information about cats, but not the musical named Cats, try cats –musical
- Learn more about logical operators.
- Boolean machine
- Video: Boolean operators
Wildcards and truncation
- Truncation is used instead of the Boolean operator OR where there are several possible endings.
For example: comput* will retrieve computers, computing, as well as computation.
Privacy search engines
Search engines that do not collect identifiable information such as IP adresses, location details and searches.
Google Scholar - Library links
You can set up Google Scholar so that it shows the full text articles available in TAFE NSW subscription eJournal databases. A current TAFE NSW username and password is required to access these articles.
Go to Settings in Google Scholar and click on Library links. Search for TAFE NSW and select TAFE NSW Libraries and click the Save button. You have to repeat this for every device you are using and cookies must be turned on to retain the settings.
Library Databases - Start Your Search Here!
Try the library databases before searching the Internet. They have been selected for your research and contain credible information.
Access to these eResources requires a TAFE NSW username and password for TAFE NSW Students and Staff
LinkedIn Learning eTutorials
Contains 10,000+ high quality online courses teaching creative, business and technology skills. The courses are available in all levels from beginners to advanced.
Using the Internet for Research