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Academic Success

A Better Internet Search

When is the last time you thought about how you enter searches in a tool like Google?

Take a quick look through Google's How to Search on Google article, then go a step further and check out Refine Web Searches.

Making use of advanced search screens can help you hone your search skills!

Google Advanced

Also -- try limiting your search by domain (.edu, .gov, .org, etc.) by typing in the box along with your search terms.

Google Advanced Search

This video describes the features of Google Advanced Search, which can help you focus your search results on exactly what you need.

Keep in Mind

  • You are more likely to find academic sources on .gov and .edu sites, but you still need to look at the purpose and other factors. Many .edu sites host student blogs, personal pages, news, etc. Not all pages with a .edu or .gov ending are academic, but they are good starting places for research. To limit to these sites, add site:gov or site:edu to the end of your search in Google or another search engine (note that there are no spaces).
  • .org sites may have some academic works, but again will require evaluation. Many nonprofits will publish research as reports or fact sheets. Note that many nonprofit organizations may have sponsors or a certain mission. Be sure that you are aware of this (look for a Mission or About Us page on their site). A specific mission may mean that there is bias in the information an organization is promoting.
  • Examine the tone and purpose of the site. Ideally, resources for college level research papers should be written to inform, educate, and/or share research. Some organizations may be trying to sell a product or persuade others of their point of view, which could affect the information they choose to present or highlight. Some organizations might also have a political stance that can affect their presentation of research. Even if a biased site supports your thesis, it lacks credibility and weakens your argument.

Pro Research Tips

Google Scholar Image

Search Temple’s databases from Google Scholar, instead of from the library web site, 
to find freely available scholarly articles available via the Temple University library and the internet.  Just follow these Google Scholar Set-up Instructions, then enter your key words in the Google Scholar search box.

  • Look for articles that say Temple U next to them. These are the articles that only you (as a Temple student) can access for free.
  • Other sources that say PDF, or similar, on the right side of the article are full text articles that anyone can access for free. 
  • Some sources will not show anything on the right of the article. Those are typically not available in full text for free.
    Do not pay to access these! if you really think you need to article, contact the library to see if they can find a free version for you.

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