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NUR152: Nursing Theory & Science

How librarians use Google

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

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 domaina space and any relevant keyword(s) or "phrase(s). 

  • osteoporosis
  • “valley fever”
  • skin cancer prevention

A site search limits results to a particular website.  

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

  • "hand hygiene"

*For improved search results format phrases with quotation marks.  


Typically the best source of statistics and other data is the government, organizations or associations.  

To find numerical information enter the following command, which uses the tilde (~), in Google.  

  • "valley fever"~statistics

  • hypertension~data

Evaluating sources


What is their knowledge of the subject or area of expertise?  Not all authors are people sometimes organizations are credited, for example the CDC, Arizona State University or the American Nursing Association.  

Publisher or Sponsor

Do they have a vested interest in a certain point of view?  For example, because of conflict of interest it would be unwise to rely solely on the research of the drug company producing a particular vaccine for information regarding their product safety.  Instead you would want to turn to independent sources such as the American Medical Association or the Federal Trade Commission.


Is the information appropriate for your audience?  In Nursing evidence based information is absolutely necessary.  This might include scholarly resources such as academic journals.  Please remember that any technical or high level professional information will need to be broken down for the general public and patients.  


Is something more current needed?  The date of publication is very important in the field of science and technology.  Because medicine changes so rapidly it is necessary to find recent information on a topic (ideally no older than 3 years).  


Are there errors?  Be sure to identify if a resource is not fact based but rather in support of a particular opinion.   


Cited sources help to determine the quality of the information the source under consideration is based on.  

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