Beyond Google: The Art of Time-Effective Information Gathering

Conducting Internet research is a challenge. It's time consuming, often confusing and who ever thought too much information could be a problem? The Internet has opened up the world of information gathering to the extent that it can be overwhelming and therefore problematic. Standard Google searches can be but conflicting, redundant and often incomplete.

Conducting effective Internet research requires specific attention to phraseology. Writing a broad, general phrase in the search box will result in irrelevant, useless results.

Common complaints doing online research include:

· Validating the information for reliability

· Relevance of the results.

· Multiple points of view and the inability to source the information

· Time intensive

There is help. There are several research techniques that will smooth out the bumpy road to Internet information. Effective research tools can cut research time significantly as well as reduce the amount of irrelevant information and improve the reliability of the results. Follow my research secrets to streamline your process and give you the skills and tools you need to conduct fast, effective investigations.

Super Sleuthing Research Tips

· Understand the different between Data and Information. DATA is a single piece of information, as a fact, statistic, code or an item. It may be a fact assumed to be a matter of direct observation. INFORMATION is the knowledge received concerning a particular fact or circumstance.

· Know how to ambiguity in your search. Many words have different meanings such as the word, for example "Capital": Seat of government, money, letter or crime.

· Use standard "Search Strings" to narrow your search and improve results. For example: The hyphen search string, The wildcard search, The date range search, The exact search using quotation marks, Blog keyword search: inurl, The file type search such as PDF, PPT or XLS,

Find information using "either or" and the definition search: define:writing, Boolean search: And, Or, Not, +:

· Use the "Deep Web" 500 times bigger than the standard searchable Web. To find "Deep Web" search engines, just use "Deep Web" plus the topic in your search box.

· Use a Web credibility formula to evaluate information and pre-screen Web sites for credibility, and selection tips such as the CARS check list: Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness and Support.

· Avoid unintentional plagiarism. Everything on the Internet is protected by copyright. Always cite anything taken from a Web site and use the URL with a date to note the quotation or information.

· Use the "Deep Web" 500 times bigger than the standard searchable Web. To find "Deep Web" search engines, just use "Deep Web" plus the topic in your search box.

· Use a Web credibility formula to evaluate information and pre-screen Web sites for credibility, and selection tips such as the CARS check list: Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness and Support.

· Avoid unintentional plagiarism. Everything on the Internet is protected by copyright. Always cite anything taken from a Web site and use the URL with a date to note the quotation or information.

Geri Spieler is the author of, "Taking Aim At The President: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Shot at Gerald Ford," Palgrave Macmillan.

She is a master researcher, research director, and research analyst. She hosts a one hour LIVE Webinar, "Super Sleuthing: Internet Research Skills Everyone Should Know," http://www.gerispieler.com/Reviews.html

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