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Planning a search


You can use the links below to find out more about the different kinds of information systems you might use when searching. Some might be structured, like library catalogues and databases, whilst others, such as the World Wide Web, are not. You can find out how to target the information you are looking for, know where you are likely to find it, and plan how you will go about retrieving it.

Being digital activities

Choosing good keywords (5 minutes)
How to focus your search using targeted keywords.
Filtering information quickly (10 minutes)
Strategies for fast filtering of results when searching the web.
Finding hidden information online (10 minutes)
Strategies for fast filtering of results when searching the web.
Information universe (10 minutes)
Save time and get better results by learning how to focus on the category of information best suited to the purpose of your search.
Scanning and skimming a web page (10 minutes)
Learn how to use techniques that will help you to find information quickly when you are dealing with large amounts of text.
Search slips and tips (10 minutes)
Avoid the pitfalls of searching for information online, and conduct more efficient searches.
Selecting the right online tools (5 minutes)
Learn how to select the right online tool with confidence.
Target your Google search (10 minutes)
Find relevant information quickly using Google's advanced search options.

Library activities (requires an OUCU)

Searching academic databases (Level 1: 30 minutes)
This activity uses Academic Search Complete to introduce the principles of searching; from choosing good keywords to saving articles from your searches.
Planning a search (Level 1: 30 minutes)
Introduces the basic steps involved in planning an effective search; from choosing good keywords to adapting search terms and searching databases.
Introduction to searching Google (Level 1: 30 minutes)
This activity gives you an overview of what happens when you search the web using a search engine. It also introduces you to some basic principles of effective searching using Google.


Finding resources for your assignment (1 hour)
Guidance on the key steps in finding information for your assignment.  

Original Safari content

If you would like to access the original Safari content, please download the PDF below. Please note that this is archive material, and may not be up-to-date.
Original Safari content: Planning a search