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Search Engines

Getting the Most Out of Using a Search Engine

Once you have clearly identified your specific data needs, you may be able to find statistics (generally from the same sources described in this tutorial) using the right terms in a search engine (e.g., Google, Bing or Yahoo!). In order to locate the most relevant information, make sure to enter detailed search terms (what, where, when).

For example, you are writing a report on the magnitude of the diabetes epidemic in the United States. Below are some examples of possible search terms:

  • “Diabetes mortality rate United States”
  • “Diabetes prevalence United States”
  • “Diabetes hospitalizations United States 2012”

Be sure to verify that the resource you find is a reliable one. If possible, find the original source of the data, rather than quoting a secondary source, to ensure accuracy and currency, and to avoid misinterpretation.


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