Google Search Tips, Tricks and Hacks
One of the largest hurdles of using Google is the amount you must weed through. Some searches result in thousands of pages; who has time to go through all that? You dont need to. Did you know you can manipulate a regular Google search with a couple hacks to your search. Its true! Try these search "tricks" during your next google search.
- site:XXXXX This search tells google to limit your search to a particular site or domain. For instance, if you limit to site:berkeley.edu you would only search the Berkeley site. Similarly site:.gov would search only sites ending in .gov, and site:.edu would search only sites ending in .edu.
- -XXXXX Adding a minus/hyphen sign "-" to a term will remove results with that term. This can be very helpfull when removing common words associated with your topic.
- filetype:XXXX Using filetype: will only find certain file extentions (.doc, .pdf, .xcl, etc)
- "XXX XXXX" Putting double quotes around a phrase will find only that phrase.
You can also combine some of these search hacks, such as adding -site:nytimes.com to remove results from the New York Times website. More search tricks can be found here.
- Set up a Google Scholar Alert to be automatically notified when new articles are added to Google on topics of interest:
Do your search in Google Scholar. Look in the green toolbar for the envelope icon, and click it. New items will be sent to your email account as they are found by Google.
- Make Google display links to full text of articles that Berkeley subscribes to:
Open Scholar. Click on scholar preferences [next to the search box]. Under Library Links, enter the word Berkeley. Choose up to three database providers we subscribe to: Full Text@IngentaConnect; UC eLinks; and Read article via OCLC.
- Ever wanted to trace an article’s impact? Google now permits searching within citing articles.
Do a Google Scholar search. Click on the "Cited by" link under a citation and select the "Search within articles citing..." checkbox.
Citation Management Tools
Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but any are easier than doing it by hand!
- Zotero: A free plug-in that works exclusively with the Firefox browser: keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service.
- RefWorks - free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
- EndNote: may be purchased from UC Berkeley's Software Central.
It's always good to double check the formatting -- sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.
If you've never used Zotero before, use the QuickStart Guide to get started.
Change your preferences if you want Zotero to
- set your default citation style
- search the full text of pdfs you save
- Automatically attach associated PDFs and other files when saving items
To use Zotero to find specific articles in our library's databases, set up the Open URL resolver with this link: http://ucelinks.cdlib.org:8888/sfx_local?
An in-depth discussion of the relative virtues of Endnote and Zotero,