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Disclaimer: Google and Google Scholar should not be your only source for a research paper. Contact the Librarian and Research Librarians for many more amazing resources.

Let me tell ya ‘bout the Good Ol’ Days

What Can Gold Rush can Teach us about Searching for Sources?

  • Gold Rush
  • Getting the most out of Google
  • Google Search Cheat Sheet
    • Search single word exactly as is (“”)
      Google employs synonyms automatically, so that it finds pages that mention, for example, childcare for the query [ child care ] (with a space), or California history for the query[ ca history ]. But sometimes Google helps out a little too much and gives you a synonym when you don’t really want it. By putting double quotes around a single word, you are telling Google to match that word precisely as you typed it.
    • Search within a specific website (site:)
      Google allows you to specify that your search results must come from a given website. For example, the query [ iraq ] will return pages about Iraq but only from The simpler queries[ iraq ] or [ iraq New York Times ] will usually be just as good, though they might return results from other sites that mention the New York Times. You can also specify a whole class of sites, for example [ iraq ] will return results only from a .gov domain and [ iraq ] will return results only from Iraqi sites.
    • Terms you want to exclude (-)
      Attaching a minus sign immediately before a word indicates that you do not want pages that contain this word to appear in your results. The minus sign should appear immediately before the word and should be preceded with a space. For example, in the query [ anti-virus software ], the minus sign is used as a hyphen and will not be interpreted as an exclusion symbol; whereas the query [ anti-virus -software ] will search for the words ‘anti-virus’ but exclude references to software. You can exclude as many words as you want by using the  sign in front of all of them, for example [ jaguar -cars -football -os ]. The  sign can be used to exclude more than just words. For example, place a hyphen before the ‘site:’ operator (without a space) to exclude a specific site from your search results.
    • Fill in the blanks (*)
      The *, or wildcard, is a little-known feature that can be very powerful. If you include * within a query, it tells Google to try to treat the star as a placeholder for any unknown term(s) and then find the best matches. For example, the search [ Google * ] will give you results about many of Google’s products (go to next page and next page — we have many products). The query[ Obama voted * on the * bill ] will give you stories about different votes on different bills. Note that the * operator works only on whole words, not parts of words.
    • The OR operator
      Google’s default behavior is to consider all the words in a search. If you want to specifically alloweither one of several words, you can use the OR operator (note that you have to type ‘OR’ in ALL CAPS). For example,[ San Francisco Giants 2004 OR 2005 ] will give you results about either one of these years, whereas [ San Francisco Giants 2004 2005 ] (without the OR) will show pages that include both years on the same page. The symbol | can be substituted for OR. (The AND operator, by the way, is the default, so it is not needed.)
  • The SEO of Scholarly Research – Why the first 10 Google sources are not your best for research.

Go CSI on your Sources

What is CRED and What is CRUD?

  • Tools for Your Research Toolbox

Organize your Research

Google Scholar