Friday, September 25, 2009

Harnessing Google As A Supercharged Research Tool

Behind Google's simple search box ( is a hidden world of supercharged research tools that should be on the fingertips of every researcher. Here's a quick listing of the various "hidden" tools that Google offers to power searchers and researchers:
  1. Google Help's Google Cheat Sheet
    An excellent summary of the most popular tools and shortcuts for refining and improving your Google search.

  2. Secret Google Tricks: How To Search Smarter
    Do you know that Google can search for patents? search cases and legislation? This article reveals some of the more arcane yet useful google search tricks.

  3. A Complete Guide to 39 Google Apps and Services (Maximum PC)

  4. The Best Google Search Tricks (

  5. 10 Simple Google Search Tips

  6. 6 Google Sites You May Not Know About
    Heard of Google Trends? Google University Search? Google News Timeline? Google Fast Flip? Google City Tours? If none of these Google resources ring a bell, then head over to 6 Google Sites You May Not Know About for an explanation of what these sites do and how you can make use of them in your searches/research.
  7. Google Scholar
    Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. Google Scholar helps you identify the most relevant research across the world of scholarly research.
  8. Google Scholar

  9. Google Book Search
    Google Book Search offers free downloads of more than 1 million public domain books in both PDF and EPUB formats. Search for the title you want, click on the Download button and select PDF or EPUB. Happy searching!

  10. Google Similar Images Search
    Google Similar Images Search allows you to search for images using pictures rather than words. Click the "Similar images" link under an image to find other images that look like it.

  11. Google News Timeline
    Google News Timeline organizes information chronologically by presenting results from Google News and other data sources on a zoomable, graphical timeline. You can navigate through time by dragging the timeline, setting the time scale to days, weeks, months, years, or decades, or just including a time period in your query (i.e., "1977"). This is a novel way to keep track of the news if you don't have time to browse individual newsmedia sites.

  12. Finding Creative Commons Images with Google Image Search
    Google has launched feature on Image Search to help you find images that you can use for free, while respecting the wishes of artists and creators. This feature allows you to restrict your Image Search results to images that have been tagged with licenses like Creative Commons, making it easier to discover images from across the web that you can share, use and even modify. Your search will also include works that have been tagged with other licenses, like GNU Free Documentation license, or are in the public domain To enable this feature, go to Google Images' advanced image search page. Under the "Usage rights" section, you can select the type of license you'd like to search for, such as those marked for reuse or even for commercial reuse with modification. Your results will be restricted to images marked with CC or other licenses. Once you confirm the license of the image and make sure that your use will comply with the terms of the license (such as proper attribution to the image's owner), you can reuse the image.

  13. Advanced Google Search
    This site gives you instructions on how to: (1) carry out phrase searches, (2) searching within a specific website, (3) exclude specific term(s) and (4) using the "OR" operator. I find that the "search within a specific website" is especially useful since you can use it to limit searches (e.g., web pages, images, etc.) from a specific website, thereby increasing the relevancy of your search.

  14. Google Search Extra
    Did you know that the Google Search Engine allows you to search all kinds of data that you can ever think of? For example, you can search for weather, stock quotes, time, sports scores, maps or patents. You can even use the Google Search Box: (1) as a calculator, (2) to track your packages, (3) to do unit conversions, (4) as a dictionary, etc.

  15. Google Maps: When in Rome: New Street View Imagery of Historic Sites in Italy and France (Google Blog)
    Excerpts From Google Blog:
    "Starting today, you can view some of the most historic and architecturally significant landmarks in Italy and France, including UNESCO sites in Rome, the center of Florence and stunning chateaux in the French countryside. In addition to seeing the exterior of archaeological sites like the Imperial Forum and the Colosseum in Rome, you can now explore inside the Colosseum and imagine yourself viewing naumachiae—simulated sea battles for which the Colosseum was filled with water—or speaking with statesmen inside the Imperial Forum."

  16. Google's 15-seconds Search Tips on YouTube
    Ever wanted to be a power Google Search user but don't have time to plow through long instructions? You might want to head over to the Google's 15-seconds Search Tips on YouTube. Currently, there are 8 short videos teaching you how to use Google to search for:
      • weather forecast
      • local businesses
      • unit conversions
      • movie times
      • sports scores
      • flight tracker
      • dictionary
      • world time (any city in the world)


Friday, September 11, 2009

Online Resources for Exploring US Federal and State Government Data

Looking for online resources for exploring US Federal and State Government data?

Why not try one or more of the following:
  • allows you to xplore US Government data about your community.

  • allows you to manipulate, compare and visualize US state government data.

  • US Federal Register made more accessible and searchable.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Netiquette Resources

Netiquette or "net etiquette" refers to those social conventions that facilitate and govern online interaction. Here is a roundup of useful netiquette resources: