Virtual Learning Resources Center Search Tips*
The Virtual Learning Resources Center
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 forendangered animals. Generally, punctuation is ignored, including @#$%^&*()=+\ and other special characters.
Phrase search (""):
By putting double quotes around a set of words, you are telling Google to consider the exact words in that exact order without any change. Google already uses the order and the fact that the words are together as a very strong signal and will stray from it only for a good reason, so quotes are usually unnecessary. By insisting on phrase search you might be missing good results accidentally. For example, a search for "Alexander Bell" (with quotes) will miss the pages that refer to Alexander G. Bell.
The AND Operator :
There is no AND operator. AND is assumed between two or more terms. The search endangered AND animalsis the same as endangered animals .
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.
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)