Research Tools and Tips


Open Knowledge Maps
This “visual interface that dramatically increases the visibility of research findings for science and society alike” makes connections between scholarly topics easier to spot and can be a great place to help define your search terms.
Grades 9-12

This crowdsourced encyclopedia is a good place to identify subtopics and search terms and the citations in its articles can help you identify high-quality, scholarly sources. Because anyone can edit the content, Wikipedia is NOT an acceptable source to cite for research. Any information found on Wikipedia should be double-checked through additional sources.
Grades 6-12


Search Strategies and Tips

Boolean Searching
This page provides a simple, straightforward introduction to Boolean logic, which allows you to more efficiently search databases and the web.
Grades 4-12

Google Tricks
Tips from Google on how to “use symbols or words in your search to make your search results more precise.”
Grades 4-8

Web Search Strategies
A brief video focusing on quick ways to improve your web searches.
Grades K-8

Search Engines for Students

A search engine powered by Google and focused on providing high-quality, K-12 appropriate results. Results list is designed to display educational sites first.
Grades K-8

Sweet Search
Searches 35,000 sites selected by teachers, librarians and other research experts. Results are fine tuned to emphasize high-quality reference content.
Grades 4-12

Advanced Web Search Tools

Provides scaffolding for students to begin learning to use Boolean logic to get more precise search results. Searches using KidzSearch.
Grades 4-8

Creative Commons Search
Allows you to search a variety of sites for images, information, audio, and video that has been licensed for adaptation and reuse.
Grades K-12

Google Advanced Search & Google Scholar
When a basic search isn’t producing the results you need, Google has great tools for more specialized searching. Advanced Search lets you narrow your results by language, region, currency, or within a particular web site or domain. Google Scholar searches journal articles, patents and case law.
Grades 6-12

Wolfram Alpha & Goofram
Wolfram Alpha is a “computational knowledge engine,” something like a database of facts. You can use it to find data in all subject areas and to perform calculations. Goofram allows you to search using a split screen: Google on the left and Wolfram Alpha on the right.
Grades 4-12

Don’t Forget!

There are many great searchable resources found under Quick Links and the Digital Content tab including WebPath Express, and the iLibrary and INSPIRE databases.

Evaluating Sources

Credible Sources Count
An interactive tutorial that helps students learn to ask smart questions about the currency and reliability of information sources.
Grades 4-8

Website Evaluation Checklist
Lists criteria for determining the currency and reliability of a website.
Grades 4-12

Ethical Use

Copyright and Fair Use Animation
A quick video overview of the concepts of copyright and fair use from Common Sense Education.
Grades 4-12