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Search lessons from Google

Filed on: November 20, 2012 | Written by Yateendra Joshi | Add new comment

Although this blog has occasionally featured posts on how to search the Internet more efficiently, advice on that topic from Google is ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ (an expression that is used for information from someone who has direct knowledge of it).

A few months ago, Google conducted a master class on search techniques titled ‘Power searching with Google’ [1], which consisted of six sessions or topics, namely Introduction, Interpreting results, Advanced techniques, Finding facts faster, Checking your facts, and Putting it all together. The lessons and the supplementary material are available on the website.

Of particular interest is the power of searching for images: just as you can search for specific file types (pdf, doc, docx, ppt, and so on), you can search for images with a specific predominant colour. Another feature, which may appeal to many plant scientists, especially taxonomists, is the facility to upload an image and search for images similar to the uploaded image—a handy feature indeed if you are trying to identify a plant.

One other useful shortcut is Ctrl + f (for users of Windows), which brings up a search box within a web page retrieved by the regular search box: you can then type a word or a phrase in the second search box to find each instance of that word or phrase within the web page (a feature similar to the ‘Find’ feature in Word or other word-processing packages).

Happy searching!

[1] http://www.powersearchingwithgoogle.com/course



["Publish and prosper" is a series of posts about tips for researchers whose first language is not English but who submit papers to journals published in English. The series touches upon not only writing (spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage, and style) but everything else relevant to publishing research papers that journal editors wish their authors knew.]