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MCM 301S Digital News - Austin & Bakke

Chainsawsuit comic on research and confirmation bias by Kris Straub

Chainsawsuit comic by Kris Straub, from Sept. 16, 2014

Find Information at Bowman

Best Sources for this Course

Finding Journal Articles

Often you will need to find scholarly articles, academic articles, or peer-reviewed articles. These are generally all the same thing. They are written by scholars who are experts in their fields and are usually tied to a college or university. They are great for:

  • Credible and trustworthy information
  • Recent findings and research topics in the field
  • Research studies, tables, and data
  • Bibliographies and reference lists.

Data.Census.Gov -- U.S. Census Bureau

This site is a product of the U.S. Census Bureau. Through its search bar, you can locate information about consumers, places, industries, etc. From the main search bar, enter the city name, county name or zip code you wish to explore.


Another place to search for needed information is simply to 'Google it.' Again, it is important to think about what results you are finding: Who is the author or sponsor, why is the information being published? Is there obvious bias? How authoritative is the soure you find?

Google gives you so many results it is difficult to know which ones are useful or reliable. Articles rise to the top of a search based on the number of times they are clicked on; this might not be the best way to choose what will be most important for your search.

But,Google allows several ways for you to target your results. If you implement some of the following techniques, you will find that you can leverage the power of Google to help you find solid results for your project. Try out some of the tips below.

Get the most out of your Google search

Searching in Google can also help you uncover relevant articles for your research. The problem is, how to find results that will be helpful? 

SITE Searching

One way to target results in Google is to employ the site search. This requires you use a specific phrase before adding search terms to tell Google you only want results from a specific website or domain. The search always begins with site + colon + URL or Domain all without any spaces; next, add a space and insert your search terms. See the examples below - 

  •  "voter suppression" AND misinformation  This search phrase tells Google that you'd like results from the New York Times website that mention voter suppression  as a phrase in connection with misinformation.  **This is one of the best ways to search for articles on a given topic in the New York Times** Notice that we put voter suppression in quotes, to ensure that Google looks for the phrase, not the individual words.
  • site:gov disinformation U.S. elections This search phrase tells Google you'd like to see articles, reports, etc., from government websites concerned with disinformation in connection with U.S. elections.
  • site:edu 'fake news' Russia  This search phrase tells Google to retrieve articles published by or in educational institutions having to do with fake news as a concept and any connection with Russia in or involving China.
Other search tips in Google
  • Limit the date of your results by inserting the phrase after + colon + year or date  without any spaces
    • after:2016 Hate speech regulations college campuses  This phrase tells Google that you'd like all your results to have been published after 2016 (note: the after phrase can come before or after your search terms)
    • You can also limit your results to a given date range by clicking on Tools under the search bar, and then Any Time under that.
  • Search for an exact phrase by putting a phrase in quotes when entering it in the search bar, e.g., "climate change" -- using the quotes will ensure you retrieve results with that exact phrase.

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