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Back to basics – searching the Web

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Microsoft’s Bing search engine is upon us, and Twitter is a search engine for the here and now, prompting me to tie a string round this small bouquet of suggestions for educational searching:

  • Edublogs.tv’s short How To films on basic and advanced search with Google.
  • An interesting post of indeterminate age which, while it’s almost certainly not adequate for your purposes or mine, is a helpful way of conceptualising the range of different objectives scholars might have for a search. I’m going to use it as a template for a personal signpost to reference sources, replacing the various search tools and repositories it suggests with ones which better suit my needs.
  • How to search Twitter
  • I get a steady trickle of requests about how to find academic blogs on a given subject. As far as I know there is no definitive resource, and anyway academics don’t necessarily blog as academics while some non-academics blog academically. Might be better to come at your search from a different direction than the professional identity of the blogger. But maybe not – if you need to find a blog which is overtly academic, try:
    • a directory, portal such as the AcademicBlogs wiki directory, BlogScholar.
    • search an educational blogging host such as the Edublogs domain (on Google, put in your search term followed by site:edublogs.org) or WarwickBlogs (blogs hosted at the University of Warwick)
    • searching for blogs by subject area e.g. ScienceBlogs.
    • Try to find lists of prominent academic blogs, for example UniversityReviewsOnline, Currency Trading (economics blogs), and fan out from there
    • Or find somebody else who is looking, like Scott McLemmee at Inside Higher Ed, and fan out from there.
    • Any more ideas?

Written by Mira Vogel

August 4, 2009 at 16:54

Posted in how-to

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