Skip to Main Content

EES2200 Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science (PhD)

This guide will help PhD Environmental Sciences students at UTSC access key resources for research, learn about publishing and scholarly communication, and more.

Google Search Tips

Google Web Search

Before searching Google, take a look at these websites to learn some useful web search tips:

Search within a website

Site:[Domain] [Keywords]


Site: climate change

Search for similar websites



Remove or avoid keywords

[Keywords you want] -[Keyword you don't want]


climate change -conspiracy

Search for a phrase or exact term

Use quotation marks to search for a phrase or a specific term


"climate change"

Why not Google?

Google and Google Scholar are both powerful and common search tools so why would you want to use a scholarly search tool/database instead of Google?

There are many reasons, but here are some important ones:

  • ›Google doesn’t index everything - and pages that Google hasn't indexed won't show up in your search (the deep web)

    • Anything hidden behind a log in may not be indexed

    • Website designers and programmers can put a "search engines keep out" sign in the site's computer code

    • Many PDFs can't be read (or at least not read correctly) by the indexing tool

  • ›Scholarly search engines index scholarly content - even using Google Scholar you will sometimes get non-scholarly content

  • ›Greater ability to narrow down you search.  You can narrow Google searches down somewhat using Advanced Search or Google Scholar, but the ability to narrow down content is much, much greater in scholarly search engines.

  • Chemical structure searching. If you are searching for a chemical structure then there are tools to search using something other than an image search.

  • As a member of the University of Toronto community you can use scholarly search tools for free like Web of Science, Scopus, etc.

Evaluating Internet Information

Anyone can publish on the internet but it can be a great resource to give you an idea of current issues in sports management and health.

Resources found in the library have gone through an evaluation process before they get to you. If you choose to use the internet for research, you need to evaluate the information yourself by asking these questions:


  • Who published this material?
  • What are the author's qualifications?
    • Is this someone in your field of study with a Ph.D.?
    • What other research has this person done?
    • What is this person's reputation?
  • Can the author be contacted if you have questions?
  • What organization is sponsoring the website?
  • Do you trust the author providing the information?
  • How would you cite this material? 


  • Can you verify the accuracy of the information?
  • Are other reputable sites linked to it?
  • Is information cited properly?
  • Is the information written well?  i.e., spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.


  • When was this material published/put on the internet
  • Are there links within this website that are dead?
  • Is the site maintained and updated?
  • If information is dated, does that make it less valuable?


  • Is the information presented in a manner that makes it easy to use?
  • Does the website have images that add to the purpose of the site?
  • How thoroughly is the subject covered?


  • What is the purpose of this page?
    • Is it to inform, explain, persuade, or sell a product?
  • Is the information intended for a specific audience (high school students, scholars, etc.)?
    • Is the intended audience useful/appropriate for your research?
  • Is information presented objectively or does it have a bias?
    • If it has a bias (e.g., a specific political or philosophical point of view) does that detract from the usefulness to you?

Although this list of questions is not exhaustive, do you feel confident that the information presented on the website you are evaulating is of use for you and your research?