Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting Beyond Google: Best Tools for Research

Wouldn't it be great if you had your own web based librarian who would evaluate search results and give you the best information on your topic? Not possible, right? These sites are the next best thing.

Sweet Search
This site has a staff of research experts, teachers and librarians that have helped build this wonderful search tool. Sweet Search is specifically targeted to students doing research. Check out their other search tools as well. Check out the site tour for more information.

This site not only has a huge database of high quality websites, but also special collections for various topics and an "ask an ipl2 librarian" service. It is maintained by a paid staff and volunteer library students, among others.

Kids Click
Kids Click is another site maintained by the School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University. The audience is K-12 students and it gives approximate reading levels for the sites are included in the results. Reference
Instead of just searching web content, the results in the Reference section of are from previously published reference materials from reputable educational publishers. Information from Wikipedia and a few other websites are included in the results as well. Check the bottom of the results for the source information and a useful citation tool.

Wolfram Alpha
Wolfram Alpha is hard to explain. It is kind of a computation engine, not a search engine. Check out the examples and take a tour of the site.

Google Scholar
Alright, I have to include this specialized Google search tool. Google Scholar searches a small part of Google's database, scholarly papers, journals, websites, etc. The material from some of the sites will be only a publishers abstract, but it might still be possible to get the full article. Talk to Mr. Bodwell or Mrs. Leahy for more information.

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