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Nelson Education > Higher Education > Beyond Policy Analysis: Public Issue Management in Turbulent Times, Fourth Edition > Student Resources > Internet Search Tools

Internet Search Tools

There are many ways to locate information on the Internet. No one way is perfect, and a thorough search should involve several of the search methods provided below. This section of the Nelson Political Science site provides tips and links to a variety of search engines.  The Internet can also be used to search for bibliographic information. Ingenta is an extremely useful way to search for printed material. This database covers an enormous number of academic periodicals. In addition to searching for keywords, you can look up a journal by title to see what other articles might appear in that issue. 


The Searchability Guides to Academic Search Engines is a very useful site that directs you to different search sites, according to specific subjects. An enormous number of specialized search engines are provided here to help academic researchers. 

Parliamentary Business and Publications Search Engine - search for key words in the debates and journals of the House of Commons and Senate, as well as committee reports and transcripts of hearings. 

Search - Government of Canada Sites searches for keywords across the government of Canada's many sites. Also try: 

Supreme Court of Canada Decisions - Use the search engine at the bottom of the page to find the decisions of the court that contain your keywords. Then you will be able to read the full text of those decisions on-line. 

FedWorld Information Network Home Page - search U.S. government sites. 

United Nations Web Search - search the many United Nations sites using keywords. 

Canada411 - Look up an individual's or company's phone number and address. If they're listed in the phone book, you should be able to find them here. 

Postal Code Lookup - Canada Post provides a site where you can find the postal code for an address.


Google is the reigning champion for internet searching, providing access to  recent news items and images, as well as the usual coverage of web pages.

Yahoo! is another popular starting point for conducting searches for material on the Internet.  Not only can you search for Web sites by key words, but the site also provides a very powerful set of indexed pages to browse entries for sites on specific subjects. 

MSN provides good coverage for internet searches, compiling results from several sources.

Teoma is a relative newcomer but has gained a large share of search traffic.

AltaVista is another powerful individual search engine. A useful tip is to put a phrase you want to search into quotation marks when you fill in the search field. For example, the search on "freedom of expression" will look for that exact phrase in Web pages. Also, try the AltaVista Canada Search Engine.

Meta searching allows simultaneous searches to be conducted across many Web page databases at the same time, and can be a powerful and time-saving method for looking for material: 

  • The most innovative of the meta searchers is Ask Jeeves.  At this site, you can look for information by asking plain English questions; for example, "How many members are there in the Canadian House of Commons?" 
  • provides useful summaries of search results. 
  • Copernic is another very useful meta searcher, which involves downloading and installing the (free) search software onto your computer. 
  • Dogpile provides some of the most thorough meta-searching, but organizes the results by the individual search engines to which it has submitted your keywords, so you can have a very long list to look through. 
  • Ixquick offers fast meta searches for web page material as well as news items, graphics, and MP3s.
  • MetaCrawler orders the results and eliminates multiple returns of the same page, but its default settings offer fewer hits than does Dogpile. 


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