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Searching the web for integrated care literature

Google is invaluable for searching when you know the title of a report or the name of the organisation responsible for it. Google searching is more challenging when you are searching by subject area, for example ‘integrated care’.

Despite Google’s highly advanced search and ranking algorithm, you are still likely to retrieve a large number of irrelevant items when simply putting subject terms into the Google search box.

The search advice provided here uses Google’s advanced search features to filter out commercial sites and target non-commercial organisations such as governmental, educational or research institutions.

Step 1. Go to Google Advanced:

www.google.com/advanced_search

Step 2. Enter search terms

Enter the following search terms in the specified search boxes:

  • All these words: integrated
  • Any of these words:  care healthcare “health care”

Step 3. Narrow the search by additional topic

You will probably wish to search for a specific topic within integrated care, for example, integrated mental or behavioural health care in rural Australia.

To add an additional topic area or two to the integrated care search:

  • Add terms that must be present in the results to the all these words box after ‘integrated’
    • E.g. Integrated mental Australia rural
  • Now add terms that may be present but which are not essential to the any of these words box. This may include synonyms for terms in the top search box.
    • E.g. behavioural behavioral Queensland Victoria “Northern Territory” Tasmania

Include double quote marks around terms with multiple words for better results (e.g. “Northern Territory”)

Step 4. Narrow the search by Google limits

You can use Google’s limit features to narrow your results by:

  • Language
  • Region (one only)
  • Last update (e.g. past month, past year)

Step 5. Limit to PDF documents

Choose the file type Adobe Acrobat PDF using the drop-down menu. This will restrict your search to documents made available in PDF and eliminate many of the commercial entities.

Step 6. Limit to an organisational type

Google’s site or domain search option allows you to restrict results to a specific type of organisational website which may increase the likelihood of retrieving scholarly, rather than commercial or personal opinion, materials.

Some of the more useful codes for finding scholarly sources are shown in the table below. Enter one in the site or domain search box, or find the relevant code for what you need elsewhere.

Please note: Google only allows you to search one site or domain at a time.

Region Geographic code Academic institutions Organisations Government
Australia .au .edu.au .org.au .gov.au
Canada .ca .canada.ca
European Union .eu
France .fr .gouvernement.fr
Germany .de
Japan .jp .ac.jp .or.jp .go.jp or .lg.jp
Netherlands .nl
New Zealand .nz .ac.nz .org.nz .gov.nz
Singapore .sg .edu.sg .org.sg .gov.sg
Switzerland .ch
United Kingdom .uk .ac.uk .org.uk .gov.uk or nhs.uk
United States .edu .org .gov
World Health Organization .who.int

Step 7. Run search

Step 8. Improve the relevance of results using ‘verbatim’ option

Try using Google’s ‘Verbatim’ option to improve the relevance of your results. Verbatim forces Google to ignore any related, but not matching, results as well as results matched to what you’ve looked at previously (personalisation).

  • Click on Tools under the Google search box
  • Now click on All results
  • Select Verbatim from the drop-down menu.