The Virtual LRC and related websites are now all searched using a form of a Google Custom Search Engine. This means that almost all of the search strategies employed with Google will work for Virtual LRC. The major difference is that while Google searches the entire Internet, the Virtual Learning Resources Center and related websites search only a much smaller number of academic websites previously recommended by teachers, librarians and library and educational consortia.
Basic Facts :
Search is always case insensitive. A search for Endangered Animals is the same as a search for endangered animals. Generally, punctuation is ignored, including @#$%^&*()=+[]\ and other special characters.
Excluding terms (-) :
Put a minus sign - directly before any term you want to exclude from your search. A search for endangered animals -birds will find all sorts of endangered animals, but not birds. Note that you must put a space before the minus sign.
The OR operator :
Google's default behavior is to consider all the words in a search. If you want to specifically allow either one of several words, you can use the OR operator (note that you have to type 'OR' in ALL CAPS). For example, San Francisco Giants 2004 OR 2005 will give you results about either one of these years, whereas San Francisco Giants 2004 2005 (without the OR) will show pages that include both years on the same page.
Using Parentheses ( ) to Nest Terms :
If you are not sure about which terms to use, you can use parentheses ( ) and the OR operator to suggest synonyms for Google to consider. For example endangered (animals OR species). This search will produce considerably more hits than , say, endangered animals alone. (9,790,000 hits versus 2,600,000 hits)
Searching for a phrase:
To search for a group of words, or a phrase, put quotes around the words. For example to search for the phrase Civil War Battles, use "Civil War Battles".
Searching for documents within a range of dates :
To search for documents within a range of years put .. between the years. For example, hurricanes 2004..2006 will retrieve information about hurricanes from three years only, 2004, 2005, and 2006.
Searching for information within a certain website
To search ONLY within a particular website, put the word site followed by a colon (:), followed by the website you want to search. Then add a space and the term you are searching for. For example, astronauts will retrieve information about astronauts only from the NASA web site
Searching for documents of a particular document type
To search ONLY for documents such as doc, ppt, or pdf file types, type filetype followed by a colon (:), followed by the search term in the search box. For example, filetype:ppt ecology will retrieve powerpoint presentations on ecology, whereas filetype:pdf ecology will produce PDF documents about ecology.