Search Portals

01-search-portals

Search Portals

What it is…

Search Portals set up pre-configured research for students. This vets sources though a hierarchy of content providers…

  • .EDU
  • .GOV
  • .ORG
  • .COM

This also focuses the search on specific file types…

  • Text Documents
  • PDF-Documents
  • Word Documents
  • Excel Spreadsheets
  • PowerPoint Slide Shows
  • MP3 Audio Files
  • MP4 Video Files
  • Etc.

Why do it…

The Search Portal streamlines students’ searching and sorts relevant sources to eliminate distracting search results.

What it accomplishes…

  • Saves Time
  • Decreases Trivial/ Busy Work
  • Organizes Research

When not to Use it…

Don’t bother with this strategy if you do not know the proper search key words.


How to do it…

Use a text editor to “Search and Replace Wild Cards” in formatted search term templates.

This will create the formatted search phrases.

Copy these search phrases into the Google Search box.

Step #1

Decide on the search terms and keywords that students are to research.

Step #2

Replace the marker symbol in the template, then copy the search term.

Step #3

Paste the Search URL into the HTML

Step #4

Publish the Search Portal Page.

Step #5

Warn students to copy the URL of relevant search results because searches often bring different results, and they may not be able to find the reference that they wish to cite.

Step #6

Build videos or tutorial sites to show students how to perform targeted searches on their own.


Strategy/ Tactics

Format searches to produce higher-quality student research.

Outcome Measures

Students are able to perform searches without the use of the Search Portal, and .EDU, .GOV and .ORG sites predominate in students’ bibliographies.

Taking Action

Conduct a keyword search to determine the search terms that deliver relevant search terms.

Get additional search suggestions from Google.

Select a relevant search term and use a text editor to search and replace the terms


Tools/ What you need…

  • Text Editing Software
  • Search Term Syntax

Search Term Syntax

Use the following search term syntax to find specific file-type of resources from valid sites.

The search term syntax and a description of results use this model…

First Line: Search Term Syntax
Second Line: Search Results Description – Type of file and category of source

PDF-Formatted Articles

site:.edu “xxx” filetype:pdf
Returns relevant PDF-formatted articles from Educational institutions
site:.gov “xxx” filetype:pdf
Returns relevant PDF-formatted articles from Governmental Agencies
site:.org “xxx” filetype:pdf
Returns relevant PDF-formatted articles from Organizations
site:.com “xxx” filetype:pdf
Returns relevant PDF-formatted articles from Commercial Organizations

Word-Formatted Articles

site:.edu “xxx” filetype:doc
Returns relevant DOC-formatted articles from Educational Institutions
site:.gov “xxx” filetype:doc
Returns relevant DOC-formatted articles from Governmental Agencies
site:.org “xxx” filetype:doc
Returns relevant DOC-formatted articles from Organizations
site:.com “xxx” filetype:doc
Returns relevant DOC-formatted articles from Commercial Organizations

PPT Slide Shows

site:.edu “xxx” filetype:ppt
Returns relevant PPT-formatted articles from Educational Institutions
site:.gov “xxx” filetype:ppt
Returns relevant PPT-formatted articles from Governmental Agencies
site:.org “xxx” filetype:ppt
Returns relevant PPT-formatted articles from Organizations
site:.com “xxx” filetype:ppt
Returns relevant PPT-formatted articles from Commercial Organizations

Resource Materials

  • Templates

Link to the Text Document that is formatted for the three-step process:

The steps:

  1. “Search and Replace”
  2. Conduct the searches
  3. Place the Search Results URL in your course page