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Health and Social Care


Websites can be a useful source of information, but before using the information consider if they are fit for purpose.  Look carefully at who has produced them, are they reputable, reliable, up-to-date?  Most will not be academic but the content may still be relevant.


If you would like to suggest a website to include here - email me





Better Googiing

Google Scholar


Google Scholar can be great for finding articles, pre-published papers and more, but do check the quality of the sources you've found.  By clicking on the "  (quote marks) at the end of each retrieved record you can export directly to RefWorks.  Go into settings and set the library links to show items held at Solent.  You may be better using the advanced search feature, found under Settings.

Search Tips for Google 

Searching Google to get the best results is not as straight-forward as you may believe.  There are some tips you can use to improve the results.  Look through all the results - the top one might not be the best for your research although Google will try to give you the most relevant one first there are many other factors to be taken into account.  See Google's help pages.

Boolean ( AND, OR, NOT)

AND Google assumes you are connecting your terms with AND (so both words must be present) this is common to most databases/eResources.  Google does not do Boolean, so do not include the word AND or NOT as you would in searches on other eResources or databases.  It does do "OR".

OR  if you use OR it must be in capitals (this is good practice for most databases).  Connecting with OR means that either word needs to present – useful for synonmyns. 

Consider using the Advanced Search function - it will help you get the best results.

Word Order

Google ranks the first word slightly higher than the second, the second slightly more than the third, etc.

  • Solent University  returns different results to University Solent



How to use it

“ “

Searches for phrases  “social distancing”  searches for that exact phrase



Exclude word from search    “social distancing” –children



Use to restrict to top level domain -  eg - Note  the punctuation.  to find UK education sites to find UK government sites



Searches for a missing word in a phrase  - eg Test * Trace    to find Test Track Trace

Note this does not do the same job as an * in other searches where it replaces letters!


Range search  for numbers  -  use for prices?  Ipad 300…399



Searches for multiple words in the text



Searches for a single word in the text or combine with “ “ to find phrase



Searches for multiple words in the title  -   allintitle: social distancing 



Searches for single word in title –can use multiple times in the same search  -   intitle: "social distancing"  intitle:children



Gives definitions of words  -  define:biomechanics


Filetype:pdf will only find documents in this format. 

filetype:pptx - will find powerpoints with this extension.  

filetype:ppx - will find powerpoints with this extension

Verbatim Use after a search - looks for all the words you have searched for.  Type in your search words, then click Tools, then select Verbatim from the All Results drop down
Advanced Search Don't be afraid of using the advanced search feature - you will get better results, more quickly.   Find it under Settings. Choose whether to search for exact phrase, any of the words (equivalent to OR), all of the words (AND).  Scroll down to select where your terms should appear in the search, etc. 


Google Scholar Hacks


Watch the video to learn some additional ways of searching Google Scholar