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COM207: Introduction to Communication Inquiry (Deiss)

This guide was designed to support students enrolled in COM207, however, others researching communication might also find the content useful.

How librarians use Google

For better results in Google, librarians will use strategies such as domain and site searching.  

A domain search limits results according to a website's top level domain.  For example, .gov (government websites), .edu (education) and .org (organization).  

In the following sample domain searches, the prefix site: is followed by the domain, a space and any relevant keyword(s) or "phrase(s). 

  • “computer mediated communication”
  • “digital media”
  • “social software”

A site search limits results to a particular website.  

In the following sample site search, the prefix site: is followed by the website url, a space, and any relevant keyword(s) or "phrase(s)."

*For improved search results format phrases with quotation marks.  

  1. Enter the phrase "conflict resolution" into the Google search box and review the results. 
  2. Now search for "conflict resolution" using one of the strategies above.  How did the second list of results differ from the first?   

Web Evaluation

It is important for a researcher to evaluate any resource for reliability and usefulness.  The following are the general elements considered when reviewing a resource.   

Author/Publisher or Sponsor What is their knowledge of the subject or expertise in the field? Do they have a vested interest in a certain point of view?  Pay close attention to an author's word choice, omissions, the limiting of debate, framing of the story, and the selection and use of sources.  Bias influences include geography, affiliations and the nature of the medium.
Audience Is the information appropriate for an academic audience?
Date Is something more current needed?
Accuracy Are there errors?  Is the resource fact or opinion based?
References Are there citations?  Are the cited sources reliable?
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