Helpful Hints for Search Engines and Entering URLs
Entering a search:
Note: A given search engine may not have all of the listed capabilities, and search syntax may be different.
- Use AND to combine terms and narrow down a search.
Example: cancer AND lung
- Use OR to include multiple terms.
Example: cancer OR neoplasms
- Enclose phrases in quotation marks.
Example: “infectious diseases” instead of infectious diseases.
- Use the “+” sign to make sure that a specific term is included.
Example: +tuberculosis +CDC retrieves only pages with both tuberculosis and CDC appearing in them.
- Use the “-” sign (minus/hyphen) to exclude unwanted terms.
Example: tuberculosis -CDC retrieves only pages about tuberculosis that do not include CDC.
- Read the search engine’s home page. Hints, instructions, and advanced search capabilities are usually included.
- Try different search engines. Retrieval, coverage, and search capabilities vary.
- Use the search engine’s advanced search mode.
- It is not necessary to type ‘http://’ before a URL.
- All URL’s do not start with ‘www’. Example: The Health Center’s URL is www.uthct.edu, but the Library’s URL is library.uthct.edu.
- URL’s may be case-sensitive. A given URL may not work if even a single character is typed in the wrong case.
- Guessing URL’s does not always work. Example: Typing in www.ama.org retrieves the American Management Association instead of the American Medical Association. The American Medical Association’s URL is www.ama-assn.org.
- Forward slashes (/) are always used in a URL. Back-slashes () are never used.
- Common URL extensions:
.com = commercial web site, usually North American
.edu = educational institution web site
.gov = U.S. civil government web site
.org = non-profit organization
.mil = U.S. military web site
.us = state web site (‘.us’ is always preceded by an abbreviation for the state, i.e. ‘.tx’)
.uk, .de, .fr, etc. = foreign web sites, indicating country
(See http://www.bitmedia.com/cc/url1.htm for a list of country codes.)