Librarian’s advice: How to find good information quickly

In an ideal world, we would all have infinite time to thoroughly research each topic and carefully assess every source we find. Since we all live here in reality, let’s practice these three time-saving methods to get at the good stuff faster, so that we have more time when in-depth evaluation is needed. 

Tip #1: Google, but smarter

There are dozens of Google tips that give the searcher some control over Google’s default algorithm. This is one tip that every searcher should be ready to use: the site limiter. 

• Limits results to only those web pages in a specific domain (like .gov or .edu). 

• Limit can be added to any keyword search

• For example, to quickly locate reliable statistics, try a government site limit: heart disease statistics site:gov will return results from various government departments that collect statistics on health. 

• The site limit can be used on any domain, such as site:edu, or a more specific domain such as 

Tip #2: Search LibGuides to use librarian expertise 

Many libraries use a software called “LibGuides” to create helpful guides on researching many different topics. Add the word libguide to your Google keyword search to find librarian-created research guides on your topic. For example, the search climate change libguide returns many research guides that help students locate reliable websites and library subscriptions on the topic of climate change.

Tip #3: Use the Library WorldCat search

The Kirkwood Library website ( has a single search box that searches only librarian-selected resources, such as books, magazine and journal articles, and streaming video. This search provides a quick entry into the wealth of library resources available for your topic. Give it a try!

Try one of these tips today to add to your own set of search tools. 

For even more research help, see the Kirkwood Library guide at: