July 13, 2010

Searching Frustrations

One thing I've noticed from working with catalogues and databases online is quite how hard finding relevant information is online. Often, when simply turning to Google to find an answer there are plenty of locations to learn about your favoured topic or issue. However with research it is quite a different situation indeed; searching for items linked to 'protestant association', or 'lord george gordon' or 'petition', even within a relatively short time period (such as between Jan-June 1780) throw up literally hundreds of results, many of which are mere passing references.

Understandably  academic search engines can't be quite as generalised as Google, but it is something I have come to learn through using them over the past few months. One skill you do learn however is how to best navigate such search engines to make the best use of the keywords, the time-frame, using 'fuzzy' searches and many other little operators to ensure the best results.

Still, it's taking a while to get through nonetheless! 

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