Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Search Engines and Indexes

First you must search before you research

When you begin an investigation, you need to map out the limits of your study.  You need to see what others before you have done.  You need to learn the key concepts, terminology, and questions.
  • Google
  • Google Scholar
  • Google Images
The Google products are very popular because they meet most needs of most people most of the time.  However, other search engines engage other algorithms for parsing information.  They return different hits to your query.
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Ask
  • Lycos
In addition, there are "meta" engines that combine the resources of several other engines at the same time.  Dogpile is popular.  However, try Metacrawler.
Exalead Search  www.exalead.com/search was recommended to general scholars by the Library at the University of California Berkeley.  It will seldom return the answers you expect.

Your school librarian and your community librarian can provide you with access to sophisticated databases of peer-reviewed academic journals and research publications.  In addition, those periodicals are indexed and cross-referenced by other services. 

These are among the largest general-purpose indexes. JSTOR tracks over 1400 peer-reviewed academic journals, typically the most important in each of 50 academic fields, including social sciences, life sciences, and physical sciences.  Gale (headquartered here in Farmington Hills, Michigan)  is a major provider of indexing, abstracting, and sourcing databases.  Among Gale's many services are Cengage and Academic Onefile.   Your librarians (school and community) can help you locate reliable research and reporting.

Among the over 200 available catalogs, indexes, and collections are these:
  • Abstracts in Anthropology
  • ACM Digital Library (Association for Computing Machinery)
  • Biological & Agricultural Index
  • CAMIO - Catalog of Art Museum Images Online
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (Scholarly journals that are free on the web)
  • Dissertations & Theses Full Text
  • ERIC - Key source for Education articles and reports
  • Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts
  • MathSciNet
  • MEDLINE (via FirstSearch)
  • Ornithological Worldwide Literature (OWL)
  • PsycINFO
  • Scitation (American Institute of Physics)
  • Sociological Abstracts
  • SPORT Discus
  • THOMAS - U.S. Congress on the Internet
  • TOXNET - Toxicology Data Network
  • Wiley Online Library
  • WorldCat - via FirstSearch
  • Writer's Reference Center

No comments:

Post a Comment