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How-To Research Tutorials Home

Use this comprehensive list of tutorials and modules to learn how to be a better researcher

Basic search techniques for Google, Scholar, Books, News & Images

  • Capitalize search operators/boolean connectors AND, OR. 
    • Example: zika AND "birth defects"
  • Exclude words - use a dash before a word with multiple meanings or to exclude a site.
    • Example: jaguar speed -car    pandas
  • Phrases - All the words in the exact order
    • “your phrase in double quotations”
  • Compound words - when you’re not certain if one word or two 
    • (“health care” OR healthcare)
  • Wildcard - placeholder for any unknown term (word or number)
    • "evidence based" ** practice
  • Number range - results contain numbers in the range
    • 1990..1999 AND ("native american" OR "american indian") AND poverty
  • Terms in the document title
    •   intitle:”human trafficking”

Cited reference searches

Use the Cited by link to to see newer papers that reference the citation.

  • On your Google Scholar results page, click Cited by to see articles that have cited your reference.
  • Entries with [Citation] have been extracted from bibliographies of articles and may not have complete bibliographic information.

Limit page results in Google, Books, News & Images

No spaces between the limit and search terms.

define:hipster limits results to pages with definitions
filetype:pdf AND ebola limits pages with specified file type (pdf, doc, xls, ppt, rtf, dwf, ps, kml, kmz, swf) AND ebola limits results to pages from the domain  results included cached version of page, pages that link to site, similar pages  pages that link to the page pages that are similar

Find specific information types: books, blogs, news, images


  • Go to to search full text of books--free, borrow, buy.


  • Google search box > yourterms AND blog
  • Google search box > yourterms > News > Search tools > All news > Blogs

News & News Archive

  • Google search box > yourterms > News for current computer generated headlines
  • Google search box > yourterms > News > Search tools > Recent > Custom range for articles from 2003
  • Google search box > yourterms > News > Search tools > Archives for articles prior to 2003
  • Go to for top headlines in 11 categories and 70+ regional editions
  • Go to > down arrow for Advanced news search for more search options


  • Google search box > Images > Search tools for size, color type, time, usage rights
  • Go to > Settings > Advanced search for size, color type, time, usage rights
  • Go to > Camera icon > Search by image by url or uploading an image, a good way to check for appropriate use