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English 301: College Writing and Research

About this page

Searching the Internet is an activity you probably feel pretty comfortable doing. However, when combining Internet searching with research for a paper, there are ways to improve your searching. Here are the key activities on this page:

  • Review the information about the different search engines both general (Google Scholar) and subject specific.
  • Watch the video "Using Google Scholar for searching."
  • Complete the assignment.
  • When you have finished this section, move on to the section about evaluating web sites here.

Search facilities and sites for research

Search Engines are software that uses “spiders,” “robots,” or “crawlers” to automatically search the World Wide Web.  They then create database indexes of World Wide Web sites and pages using the terms, words, or full-text of documents visited by the automatons.

Example:   Google Scholar 

Search engine to peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, and articles, academic publichers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities, and other scholarly organizations. Keep in mind not all academic or scholarly information is included.  NOTE: You can set preferences in Google Scholar to export to RefWorks.  To take advantage of this and links to full text available at Rutgers, you must be connected to the Rutgers network.  Google Scholar is available under the Libraries' Indexes and Databases.  Click here for an example of a Google Scholar Advanced Search for articles on privatization and colleges, which generates a list of results like this.

Use Google's Advanced Search option to search for web pages limited to a particular file type, domain, date, language, and geographic region.  Click here for an example of a Google Advanced Search on privatization and colleges, which generates a list of results like this.

Examples of other Specialized Search Engines to free (open access) peer-reviewed, full-text articles in scholarly journals: 

Meta-search Engines, also referred to as “meta-crawlers” or “multisearch engines, search several search engines at once.


Assignment - Searching the Internet

Using the video and information provided on this page, answer the following questions in the attached document.

Using Google Scholar for searching (video)

Subject-based searches

Subject-based Services or Virtual Libraries are services designed by librarians and/or subject experts with the aim of providing high quality sources of information.  When browsing these websites, see Education.


  • Rutgers University Libraries Research Guides - Subject-based and course-based guides, including useful websites, prepared by Rutgers librarians.
  • Internet Archive - Offers permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format.  The Wayback Machine makes it possible to search the billions of web pages stored in the Internet Archive.
  • ipl2  - A searchable, annotated subject directory of Internet resources selected and evaluated by librarians for their usefulness.
  • Library of Congress Research Tools - Links to a wide variety of online databases and Internet resources maintained by the Library of Congress and available to the public via the web, including its own online catalog. Also provides a gateway for searching other institutions' online catalogs; a large collection of bibliographies and finding aids; and extensive links to resources on the Internet.
  • Open Source Directory - According to the About ODP section of the website, this is considered the “largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web” and is maintained by a community of volunteer editors from around the world.
  • Scout Report - A weekly publication offering a selection of new and newly discovered Internet resources of interest to researchers and educators.
  • - A specialized search engine that searches education domain sites.  Click the drop down menu to search government domain sites or visit

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