Improving Your Search Effectiveness 
The Right Strategy, The Right Tool

Presented for    Law Librarians of New England       April 30, 2004

By                            Ran Hock     -    Online Strategies

Three Elements for Effective Searching
Choosing the Right Tool
Knowing and Using Basic Search Engine Strategies
Having a Basic Collection of Web Reference Tools

Choosing the Right Tool

            When you need “expertise” in a particular subject area
            When you think your answer might be in a database, but you don’t know which
            When you want a few “high quality” sites in a particular area
            When you need a “fact” that will be hard to separate out in a search engine
            Use Teoma to find them
            There are thousands of them!
            Some broad, some very narrow
Legal Research on International Law Using the Internet
Social Science Information Gateway
Librarians’ Index to the Internet
                Almost everything else
                If you don’t know where to start, start with a search engine
                Can point you to other tools as well as to specific answer sites

Knowing and Using Basic Search Engine Strategies

1. The Venerable K.I.S.S. Approach - Keep It Simple, Searcher! - Throw in your main terms and let the search engine(s) do the work.
2. Use simple narrowing techniques if your results need narrowing
3. USE the advanced search page(s)
4. Examine your first results and look for, then use, terms you might not have thought of.
5. Use the Boolean OR
6. Look carefully at what else results pages give you

Ran Hock
Online Strategies
April 30 2004

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