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The Joy of Search


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
1 Introduction: How You Can Harness the Power of Online Research--Why You Should Improve Your Online Researching Skills 1
2 Finding a Mysterious Location Somewhere in the World: How to Use Multiple Information Sources to Zero In on a Resource 11
3 Do Lake in Africa Sometimes Explode? How to Focus Your Search with "site:" and Using Specialized Terms 27
4 Things You Notice: While Traveling: How and When to Switch Search Modes to Find Information 39
5 Is That Plant Poisonous or Not? How to Find Highly Localized and Domain-Specific Information 53
6 What's the Most Likely Way You'll Die? How to Be Explicit about What You're Searching to Find (and Why That Matters) 67
7 When Would You Want to Read the Italian Wikipedia? How to Look for Information from Other Languages in Wikipedia and Other Sources 81
8 Why Are the Coasts So Different? How to Use Online Maps Resources to Answer Broad Geographic Questions 95
9 Mysterious Mission Stars: How to Read Snippets in the Search Results and Pay Attention to Search Details 107
10 When Was Oil First Discovered in California? How to Discover and Work Through Multiple Competing Claims in Online Resources 125
11 Can You Die from Apoplexy or Rose Catarrh? How to Find (and Use) Old, Sometimes-Archaic or Obsolete Terminology 137
12 Wheat's That Wreck Just Offshore? How to Find Archival Imagery and Use Metadata Photographs 151
13 Do Flies Have the Pattern of a Spider on Their Wings? How to Check the Credibility of a Resource You've Found 165
14 What's the Connection between "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the General Who Burned the White House? How to Search for Vaguely Remembered Connections between Ideas 179
15 What Causes the Barren Zones around Some Plants? How to Know When You Should Go Offline and Do Research in the Real World 197
16 Is Abyssinia the Same as Eritrea? How to Find Additional Context Information for Your Research 221
17 The Mystery of the Parrotfish, or Where Does That White Sand Really Come From? How to Triangulate Multiple Sources to Find a Definitive Answer 239
18 Did Perry Ever Visit the Island of Delos? How to Follow a Long Chain of References to the Ultimate Answer 255
19 On Being a Great Searcher: Rules of Thumb for Asking Great Questions 273
20 The Future of Online Search: Why the Research Skills You Learn Today Will Continue to Be Useful in the Future 289
Notes 303
Index 317

About the Author

Daniel M. Russell is Senior Research Scientist for Search Quality and User Happiness at Google. He has taught many classes on search methods, and more than four million students have taken his online power searching course.


The Joy of Search does offer a lively means of helping users to develop the thinking skills needed in strategically approaching available tools for solving an information problem.—Scholarly Kitchen

Illuminating and gloriously wide ranging, the book leverages Russell's expertise to create a practical resource for power searchers and rookie Googlers alike that's also a pleasure to read.—Booklist

Russell's tutorials are on a much higher plane but turn on the same basic principle of learning to treat the search engine as a tool that can at best assist the brain to address questions rather than effortlessly delivering an answer to your screen.—Inside Higher Ed

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