School of Information Sciences -- Faculty Publications and Other Works

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Online Vol. 17

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Over the past 20 years, guidelines to online searching have developed as databases and online systems have developed. Ten guidelines for new online searchers or experienced searchers who want to check their established style include: 1. Pre-plan the search, but do not overplan. 2. Know the purpose and motivation for the search. 3. Choose the best database or databases for each search. 4. Use cost-effective search techniques. 5. Use special care when searching for corporate or personal names. 6. Know and understand the difference between databases. 7. Plan the search strategy to match the type of database. 8. Know and understand the difference between online systems, and between the same database on different systems. 9. Evaluate search results as part of a post-logoff strategy. 10. Develop a style, but know when to try something different. Top-notch online searchers are the ones with style, flexibility, and a willingness to try new approaches or new systems.

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