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Research - Internet Search Strategies   Tags: databases, google, research  

Last Updated: Sep 6, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Search with Keywords
  • Keywords: the most important words related to a subject.
  • Choose keywords carefully. Use precise (clear and exact) words for best results.  
    Example: search the keyword "headache" instead of "my head hurts." 
  • Add more precise keywords to narrow a search.  
  • Use synonyms: words with the same meaning or nearly the same meaning.  
    Example: If you are searching for “female” consider using “girl” or “woman” as well. 
    Every word matters.  Order matters.
    Capitalization & punctuation do not matter (usually).

Google Search Tips

Google Search Strategies  (Google Advanced Search)
Exact Phrase (" ")
Use quotation marks to search for an exact phrase.  Google searches for the phrase and not the single words.
Example: "organic molecules" not organic molecules.
  • Exclude a Word (-)
    Add a hyphen/minus sign before a word to exclude it from the search. 
    Example: jockey -underwear will return results about horse jockeys, and exclude anything about the brand of underwear.
Include a Word (+)
Add a plus sign before a word to include it in the search.
Example: apple +fruit will return results specifically about apple fruit.
Multiple Words (OR)
Use synonyms combined with “OR” to find pages that might use one of several words.  The word “OR” must be in capitals otherwise Google will ignore it.  
Example: global warming OR climate change
Webpage Search
Search within a webpage: use Command + F
Find Definitions (define:)
Enter define:xxxxx to find definitions.
Example: define:lipid
Site Specific (site:)
Get results from certain sites or domains.
Examples: olympics and olympics
Google's spell checker automatically uses the most common spelling of a given word.
Don't worry about capitalization when searching, except when using the "OR" modifier.
Know the Domains
.com = company
.gov = government website
.edu = educational institution
.org = organization

Google Like a Boss


Important Biology Terms


  • What does it do?
  • What is its purpose?
  • Synonyms: job, purpose, role


  • a characteristic feature or quality distinguishing a particular thing
  • Synonyms: characteristic, feature, quality, atrribute


  • a characteristic feature or quality distinguishing a particular person or thing
  • an essential or distinctive attribute or quality of a thing
  • Synonyms: quality, feature, characteristic, attribute, trait


  • a distinguishing feature or quality
  • Synonyms: feature, mark, quality, property, attribute, trait

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    FC Library Databases - Science

    World Book Online:
    Follett Destiny:
    Webpath Express
    World Book Online:

    What are Databases and Why You Need Them


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