L.F.M.S.S. Library - Internet Search Engines


 

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Choose the Best SEARCH ENGINE for Your Information Need

I need help to define my topic...

I need a topic
Clusty Brainstorm topic ideas using result clusters
Social Issues Browse hot topics and pro/con links
Google Directory Search this subject tree enhanced by Google results

I need to understand the scope of my topic
Intute Investigate annotated academic sites
INFOMINE Browse annotated research and educational sites enhanced by second-tier "robot-selected" results

I need to investigate alternative or related topics
Grokker Explore a web of your topic and subtopics (Yahoo results)
Clusty Uncover buried sites by choosing a related cluster
Ask.com Select "Expand Your Search"

I need to refine and narrow my topic
Ask.com Select "Narrow Your Search"
Clusty Drill down into a cluster of results
SurfWax Click "Focus" to identify similar, broader, and narrower topics

 
I need to find quality results...

authoritative and scholarly sites chosen by a subject expert
Librarians' Internet Index Search the selective database or drill down into the well-organized subject tree
Virtual LRC Select a subject category, then search on term(s) or a phrase
Google Scholar Find scholarly, peer-reviewed subject-specific results with advanced search

personal help from experts
Sources and Experts Browse a journalist's contacts
Ask a Librarian Get last-resort help (no homework questions)
AllExperts Self-identified subject experts volunteer to answer questions

sites ranked or tagged as valuable or relevant
Google High PageRank means popular, relevant sites link to the page
Technorati Browse or search user-identified subjects ("tags") for blog advice or opinions
Ask.com High ExpertRank indicates subject-specific popularity

primary sources
American Memory Locate documents, sound recordings, images, maps, and other American primary sources
Ready, 'Net, Go! Browse worldwide archival index
Library and Archival Exhibitions on the Web Search for online exhibitions selected by Smithsonian librarians

 
I need to do research in a specific discipline...

government
USA.gov Search or browse official U.S. information and services
Govt. Publications & Maps: Foreign Gov. Browse worldwide government sites
Directgov Search or browse official UK information and services

science, engineering and technology
Scirus Science-specific Web portals, reports, peer-reviewed articles, patents, preprints and journals
Natl. Science Digital Lib. Science, technology, engineering and math
Intute Science, engineering and technology hub

health and life sciences
Intute Health and life sciences hub
Fealth Health-specific search engine and directory

law
FindLaw Search U.S. cases, codes, news and commentary
LOUIS Search Congressional documents, Federal Register, GAO reports, bills and resolutions
Intute Social sciences: Law hub

arts and humanities
Intute Arts and humanities hub
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Browse peer-reviewed, continually-updated entries on contemporary philosophy

 
The timeliness of information that I need is...

today
Google News Top news stories auto-generated every 15 minutes
NewsNow Worldwide news auto-generated every 5 minutes
10x10 Explore machine-compiled single image composed hourly of 100 words and pictures that "matter most" on a global scale

recent
Yahoo News One month archive with editor-created "roundups" in Full Coverage
World News Network Click a category (below news item) to gather related news or images, select Mon-Sun to track story's development
Google News Click on "related" (below news item) to see story's development

historical
American Memory Search America's primary source documents and images, browse by topic, time period, medium or place
Librarians' Internet Index Drill down into the history section or search fewer, broader terms (e.g., "terrorists" not "Righteous Path")
Digital History High-quality historical resources, primary sources, multimedia, subject guides

ancient
Ancient History Sourcebook Search online ancient-history texts, images, audio, or browse by region, period (e.g., Persia, Late Antiquity)
Librarians' Internet Index Drill down into ancient history section or search fewer, broader terms (e.g., "Greece" not "Spartan women")

 
I need facts...

a person
Biography.com Search 25,000+ biographies by name, keyword and profession
Who2 Search for famous people with "four good links" to more information
Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online Search biographies from Canada's history (16th-20th century)

a place
CIA World Factbook Select country for basic profile and transnational issues
Country Studies Cross-search or view a country (last update 1998) - historical, social, economic, political and national security data
Stately Knowledge Basic U.S. state facts, links to state government site and encyclopedia (IPL KidSpace)

a company
NYPL: Searching for Company Information Find company information based on your need

general reference answers
Ask.com Find a fact, biography, statistic or conversion, or reference answer
Columbia Encyclopedia Find basic information
Yahoo Learn shortcut words to get quick answers

news background (facts, people, and documents)
Intute Behind the Headlines Editor-compiled background for headline news

 
I need opinions and perspectives...

I want opinions on current issues
Yahoo News Browse columnists and cartoonists, or search Opinion
HeadlineSpot Opinion/Editorials Browse opinion/editorial in U.S. and some international newspapers
PollingReport Browse results of U.S. public opinion surveys

I need news from other countries' perspectives
World Press Review Get nonpartisan summaries of views outside U.S.
Newspaperindex Browse selected world newspapers
ABYZ News Links Browse international broadcast and Internet news, newspapers, magazines, and press agencies

I want multiple perspectives on hot social and political topics
Social Issues Links to pro/con on current social issues
Public Agenda Analysis of public attitudes on social issues with overview, pro/con, organization links
UN News Centre: News Focus Browse for UN-related issues by region, country or topic

I want to compare news treatment
Newseum Compare news reporting on U.S. front pages
PressDisplay Compare news reporting from 55 countries

 
I need a specific type of media...

maps
Google Maps Search and view satellite and street-level maps (repeat in Yahoo Maps)
MapMachine Search, browse and print country, physical and political maps
American FactFinder Maps See trends/patterns when you superimpose chosen geographical features and census data on U.S. maps

photographs and visual images
Google Image Search Use advanced search to limit by size, coloration, file type
Yahoo Image Search Use advanced search to limit by size and coloration
Flickr Search users' photos by their subjects ("tags"), then choose a subtopic ("tag cluster)

fine art
Artcyclopedia Search (e.g., artist, medium, movement, subject) or browse for digitized art and online exhibits, see actual size
Intute: Arts and Humanities Search or browse selected, evaluated resources
SILS Art Image Browser A database of art, architectural and museum object images from four collections

videos
Yahoo Video Search Search by keyword or phrase, use advanced search to limit by file format, size, duration and domain
Truveo Video-only search engine, advanced search limits by title, description, actor, director, genre, duration, quality
Internet Archive: Moving Image Archive Search public domain films, newsreels, ads, documentaries, television series and other “cultural artifacts”

radio
PublicRadioFan Find public radio programs and podcasts worldwide
Podcast.net Search or browse podcasts

music
AltaVista Audio Search Search for MP3s and other types of music files, limiting results by file type and song duration.
Google To find song lyrics, search (in quotes) title or performer (plus) "song lyrics," to find information about the song's history search title (in quotes) and "origin"

sounds
FindSounds Get sound effects and music samples: select a keyword or search a term limited by file format, quality and size
Soundsnap Free, user-contributed sounds can be browsed or searched by category, keyword or tag

speeches
American Rhetoric Search site or browse categories of full-text, audio and video of American public speeches, lectures, debates, interviews, events
History and Politics Out Loud Search or browse full-text public-domain audio with transcripts of 20th century political and historical events, personalities, and protest songs
American Memory Find sound recordings of American primary source speeches

quotations
Bartleby.com Quotations Search classic passages, phrases and proverbs (1901 edn.)
Quotations Page Search word, phrase, author within or across quotation collections
Quoteland Search by keyword or browse topics, authors

statistical data
Statistical Information (NoodleTools) Links to statistical databases and advice on locating and understanding data

dictionary or thesaurus (for definitions, etymology, pronunciation, synonyms)
Yahoo Reference Definitions, etymology, synonyms (English and Spanish) and audio-pronunciation
Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus Definitions, etymology, synonyms and audio-pronunciation
WordCentral Definitions with pictures (student dictionary)

encyclopedia
Columbia Encyclopedia Factual information (updated 6/05)
Wikipedia Volunteer-created and collaboratively edited: valuable for current topics (e.g., people in the news), technology (e.g., podcasting) -- information quality uneven

almanac data
Country at a Glance (U.N.) Basic country profile, use InfoNation to compare data from 6 countries
Information Please Almanac Statistical and factual data -- beware popup minefield

books and other printed works
WorldCat Search for books and reviews, options to refine results, check your local library's holdings
Google Scholar Search (free and fee) scholarly works, locate related information using "cited by" links, use advanced search to limit (author, date, phrase, in title, subject area)
A9 Search for books by keyword, then "Search Inside!" to see keyword-in-context

 
I have special search requirements...

run my search periodically and be notified of new results
GoogleAlert Run Google search of 3 interests and get e-mail or RSS notification of new results
Google Alerts Run periodic Google searches and get e-mail (no RSS) notification of new results

specify a country where my search results are located
Google Limit by domain (advanced search) or by country (Language Tools)

use a search engine outside the U.S.
Search Engine Colossus Browse search engines and directories from countries and territories

find sites organized by the Dewey Decimal System or Library of Congress Classification
Virtual LRC Select Dewey Decimal number before searching
INFOMINE Drill down into Library of Congress Classification directory
BUBL LINK Select "DeweyClass" from dropdown menu in Advanced Search

locate resources by file type
Google Limit search by file type (.pdf, .ps, .doc, .xls, .ppt, .rtf)
Yahoo Limit search by file type (.html, .pdf, .doc, .xls, .ppt, .xml, .txt)

 
I am...

a kid
KidsClick! Find kid-friendly sites with educational content (grades K-7) selected by librarians
Ask for Kids Search by keyword, then select the best-match question for answers and links
Yahoo Kids Select from kid-safe sites (grades 2- 7) organized by topic

pretty new to the Internet
Google Largest general purpose search engine
Yahoo Large, general purpose search engine
Librarians' Internet Index Easy-to-navigate, well-annotated directory of librarian-selected Web sites

an Internet wizard
Exalead Configure highly-specific searches including proximity ("folk tales NEAR sun"), but smaller index than Google or Yahoo
INFOMINE Configure a narrow search of a large, comprehensive academic virtual library (Web sites, databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, directories of researchers)
JUX2 Compare results to Identify the strengths of Google, Yahoo and MSN for your search

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