Google digging is a technique which is generally used when one uses non-academic information sources, such as newspaper articles and blogs, to search for the latest trends and research publications. Even though news items usually are quite quick in the uptake, they are not always reliable and academically justified. However, they can be used as clues, to trace the original publication the article or blog refers to. This is how:
- Find as many clues about the original publication as possible: name of researcher or organization, title of the publication, subject of the publication, time period in which it was published, etcetera.
- Enter the information in Google or any other general search engine. Make use of quotation marks for the title and limits for the period (roughly).
- In the results list, judge the relevance by looking at the url of the homepage – does it match with the researcher or organization? Bingo!
- Find out whether the researcher or organization has their own website. Use the title or topic to search for the publication within this website. Most reliable sites in which publications are uploaded have got webpages with archives or databases with local search engines.
- When you have insufficient information concerning the publication, you can search for more news articles which mention the same publication. They might fill in the blanks.