Learn more about search strategies from Dan Russell in his description of approaches taken to Answer: Why all the crazy capital letters? (Aug 25)
Fascinating reading, especially if you have wondered, as I have, why writers in the 1930s and earlier capitalized so many words in documents and correspondence. Uppercase adds importance especially to topics, anything related to religion, positions, titles. However, today the rule is to limit capitalization.
Searchers will be interested in the two new slideshows Mary Ellen Bates has posted at SlideShare in advance of sessions Web Search University in September 2015. Excellent.
Social Media Gains Respectability – primer on the value, how to use, how to search, and how to protect privacy.
Competitive Intelligence for non CIers – what it is, how to do it. Has strategies and tools.
This presentation on 23 Things: Libraries for Research Data by Michael Witt done for IFLA 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa has several good pointers. The handout http://bit.ly/1IoYnlg is much easier to read and use.
Hone your search skills with Dan Russell’s Power Searching with Google . This is online, self-paced – very good. See description at We just finished running…
This article on researching material for blog posts has some good general advice for use of Web in research, Google for search tools, and Evernote for collecting findings. Just some pointers – not in depth.
How to Research and Write Awesome Blog posts with Evernote, by Darin L. Hammond, SteamFeed (Aug 5)
Dan Russell is running “new and updated” version of his MOOC – Power Searching with Google. This is a must-do course for anyone serious about becoming a good searcher. See Announcement: A new version of PowerSearchingWithGoogle.com will open on Monday, July 20, 2015 asap.
Helen Brown readers of her blog to Bookmark these five great deep web research resources (Helen Brown Group, July 16).
Two are handbooks for investigative journalists which I have blogged about also. Stunning.
Two are the work of Paul Myers, an investigative journalist in the UK. Research Clinic has some collections and articles. However, be aware that collections and tip sheets are hard to keep current. For example, the page of Google’s search syntax lists ~ tilda as an operator – no – that was dropped; and link: as an operator for picking up pages that link to a site is so unreliable as to be useless.
If your interest is in genealogy, the best gem will be PIBuzz by Tamara Thompson. She’s in California and has collected many US records databases.
There were more good items in the Best Biz Web Newsletter this month. This newsletter is available for free but you must have a subscription. If you have any interest in business resources, sign up now at Best of the Business Web. When you visit, check the blog – Thinking Out Loud – for thoughtful postings by Robert Berkman on the research process.
Of interest to me in the June newsletter were:
CORE – Connecting Repositories — aggregates open access research outputs from repositories and journals worldwide. CORE provides “services for different stakeholders including academics and researchers, repository managers, funders and developers”.
Lies, Damn Lies and Viral Content at TOW Center for Digital Journalism that describes and links to a report by Craig Silverman on “How News Websites Spread (and Debunk) Online Rumors, Unverified Claims and Misinformation.” Beware the viral story.
Journalists today have an imperative—and an opportunity—to sift through the mass of content being created and shared in order to separate true from false, and to help the truth to spread. This report includes a set of specific and, where possible, data driven recommendations for how this anti-viral viral strategy can be executed.
Dan Russell provides strategies and tactics of what to do when “you need to learn about a topic area very quickly”. Start with thinking about the “domain” of interest – subject area / topic, and “frame” your question – you don’t want to know everything about the topic. He reminds readers that a librarian can help in shaping the question and in selecting resources – to which I add, you may be able to get that advice through online chat with your public library. But, you can also interview yourself – and his worked examples show the type of scans you can do of online resources.
To these I would add tools that can help in clarifying the question (disambiguate). Today, Duckduckgo is the main search engine that can help with pointing out aspects of topics.
Subject directories used to be excellent tools but today are either closed or poorly maintained. But it can still be beneficial to browse the subject tree – such as at the Toronto Virtual Library, or (dare I say), Open Directory Project for its categories.
Research by BlueNile into search practices shows an even split in the nature of queries, where half are fragments (or phrases – just 2 or 3 words) and the other half fully expressed queries. Another cut showed queries that were statements vs those that were done as questions. The study claimed to find that searchers have distinct approaches, but I think it’s more likely that searchers vary their approach depending on their knowledge and need.
Psychology of the Searcher Nathan Safran, BlueNile Research (Apr 28)