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PHYS Comps


The web holds a wide variety of scientific information and misinformation, ranging from popular press coverage to scholarly communications to advertisements to science buff sites. Be careful when using information from websites; it is changed often, which makes it hard to cite it in a paper. If you can find a final, published version of the same information, it is preferable to use that.

Government Websites and Data

Reference Sources and Websites

Strategic Googling

There's a lot of good information out on the web! The trick is to find it amongst everything else out there.


Depending on your topic, choosing the right keywords can be extremely important to making sure you get relevant results:

  • Think about the terms that authors might use in writing about your topic.
  • Pay attention to the results you're getting and think about what terms seem to be working, and which ones aren't
  • Use those in future searches on Google and in other places.

Narrowing your search

  • You can narrow your search to only results from a specific domain or type of domain by adding the search operator "site:" to your search.
    • "" narrows to websites from US educational institutions.
    • "" will narrow to UK educational institutions. 
    • "" will narrow to US government sites.
  • On the search results page, you can narrow your search to particular types of sources and to sites published during a certain time.  You can also choose to search on your exact words instead of the Google's default of searching for similar words.