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Georgia Magistrates: Searching Basics

Best Practices

1. Identity – The site should provide full and accurate information on the identity and contact details for the provider.

2. Revision date – The site should conspicuously post the last date the content was revised.

3. Jurisdiction – The site should clearly state the jurisdiction to which any information relates.

4. Disclaimer – The site should provide conspicuous notice that legal information does not constitute legal advice. The site should remind users about the limit of legal information in resolving legal problems.

5. Links – Where appropriate and available, the site should provide links to other quality resources with annotation of the source, content and relevance.

6. Legal citations – Where appropriate and available, the site should provide links to relevant case law and legislation in correct form.

7. Referrals – When appropriate, the site should provide users with information on how and where to obtain legal advice or further information.

8. Permissions – The site should obtain permission for content from other providers.

9. Terms – The site should inform users of the terms and conditions of use.

10. Privacy – The site should clearly state its privacy policy and its policy on security of information.

Be a smart user of electronic resources! Use sites you know and trust!

See the full text of Best Practice Guidelines for Legal Information Web Site Providers from the ABA Law Practice Management Section: eLawyering Task Force

Search Techniques

Every word matters. All the words you put in the search will be used.

  • Exceptions are "stop words" or words you specifically exclude.

Word order matters.

Spaces between words are interpreted as AND.

"Quotation marks" - phrase searching, by putting double quotes around a set of words, you are telling the search engine to consider the exact words in that exact order without any change.


  • OR - to allow either one of several words (type 'OR' in ALL CAPS).
  • Tilde (~) - searches for synonyms of the search term
  • Hyphen - sometimes used as a signal that the two words around it are very strongly connected. Or it is used as a negative sign which means you want to exclude term.

Explain - what is _____

Define - define:

Search a specific domain - site:

  • a search including would limit the results to state government sites or to the University of Georgia

Search only government sites - gov:

Advanced Search Pages

Generally we suggest that researchers use the advanced search options in any search engine or online service. But as Randolph Hock pointed out in The Cyberskeptic's Guide to Internet Research (Sept. 2012, page 7), "advanced search pages are disappearing."

So how do researchers find the advanced search pages? In Google, just search for Advanced Google Search. For many other search services:

1. Look for the word Options

2. Use the More link or the Show Search Tools link to view all of the options.

3. Look for the gear icon. Advanced search is often hidden there.

4. Hold your cursor over the arrow in a search box which will expand to show additional options.  arrow

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search
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