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Tips for finding Data on Search Engines

  • When searching for subject matter on search engines, here are tips for best ways to refine your words. You can use the operators (AND, NOT, OR, etc.) discussed below and combine them to further drill down:
    1. Search for specific phrases with quotes “”
      Ex “DNA and Health Insurance”
    2. Add the word “data” to a search:
      Ex “DNA  and Health Insurance data”
    3. Exclude search words with a hyphen
    4. Search for something either/or with OR
      Ex: DNA Barcoding 2010 OR 2018
    5. Find Websites that are similar to others by using related
      Ex: “Related: DNA Forensics”
  • Additional tips for searches:
    1. Type in a search topic together with ‘data’ and see what comes up under the image search.
    2. Search only with a certain domain by using site “site url: topic”
      Ex: “nyc.gov: DNA Barcoding”
      Google Results: “nyc.gov: DNA Barcoding”
    3. Search for a specific filetype:xls (or xlsx,csv or pdf)
      Ex: “DNA Barcoding: pdf”
    4. You can use this to find data or documents from specific agencies:
      Ex: DNA Barcoding filetype:doc site:nyc.gov
    5. You can find out more on google: google.com/advanced_search
    6. Use existing data repositories: (Many of them have limited functionality for sorting/filtering) but you can easily download data:
  • Sites to search for academic research:

Tips for Collecting and Saving Information

  1. Create a folder on your main hard drive and give it the name of the project
  2. Within this folder create a folder titled ‘research.’ Save all related research materials into this folder
  3. Create a text document. Copy and paste all related links to where you have gathered content from
  4. Save a clean copy of your data and content
  5. Keep track of your work. Save edited versions under new name.
  6. Ex: ‘ContentHitchings-V1.doc,’ ‘ContentHitchings-V2.doc’
  7. Keep careful records of your sources
  8. Set up a spread sheet in Excel. Create categories for different data types.
  9. Keep track of your work. Save edited versions under new name.
  10. Ex: ‘ContentHitchings-V1.xls,’ ‘ContentHitchings-V2.xls’