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L 6 5 4 3 2 1 Tips for searching the Internet

Identify and obtain  information
2.1 Define your search terms
2.2 An example search strategy
2.3 Search strategies
2.4 Select an appropriate tool
  2.4.1 Library catalogues
  2.4.2 Databases
2.4.3 Internet
    Internet search tools
  * Tips for searching the Internet
2.5 Keep up to date
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Tip #1 - Carefully evaluate any information found via the Internet

Publishing on the Internet is relatively easy, and inexpensive. There is no guarantee of a screening or editing process. As the type and quality of material available on the Internet can vary considerably, remember to authenticate and evaluate information found via the Internet. See Module 3.3 Evaluate your resources.

Remember the majority of content on the Web contains commercial content.

Tip #2 - Use a more 'scholarly' search engine, such as Google Scholar

Search engines generally provide references to books and journal articles. While some of these resources are freely available, some are only available on subscription or for a fee. Remember to check these fee based titles against the ECU Library catalogue as you may already have access to them due to your ECU student enrolment.

e.g. Edit setting preferences in Google Scholar to enable linking to ECU full text by following these steps:

Tip #3 - Try limiting your search by domain

If you are looking for particular content, such as government information or Australian information, consider limiting by domain.

Domain names usually consist of four domains or domains:

  • host name
  • organisation e.g. ecu (Edith Cowan University)
  • organisation type e.g. edu (educational institution)
  • country e.g. au (Australia)
The host name (www), the organisation (qut), the organisation type (edu) and the country (au) are identified in the domain name:

Organisation Type

The organisation type can be particularly useful for limiting. The main organisation types include:

Domain Type Example
.com commerical Sony Australia
.edu educational Edith Cowan University
.ac academic University of Oxford
.gov government Western Australian Government
.org organisation American Psychological Association
.net network organisation American Society for Precision Engineering


You could also limit by the country domain. U.S. domain names often do not include the country domain.


Activity: Type into the Google search engine and view the domain results. Type water site: into the Google search engine and view the results. Have a look at the domain names.


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