Getting Started: using online search

Let’s start by talking about the elephant in the world wide web… Google. We know you’re going to start there. Your examiners / lecturers / tutors know you’re going to start there – in fact they might have started there themselves ? – and frankly we don’t have an issue with you starting there… you just have to make sure you don’t finish there!

Google and Wikipedia will provide some general direction – but you have to take everything with a grain of salt. As the areas of law you’re looking at become more specific and focused, you will find materials prepared by law firms and barristers involved in cases or who are experts in the field that may provide enormous insights, but collections of student notes you find online could lead you into a world of pain (hello Turnitin!).

Navigating the big bad world of Google and Wikipedia requires more skill than may immediately be apparent. So grab a salt shaker (so you have a grain of salt handy) and take a look at this video.

Key points discussed:

  • 00:16 – Google… yes or no?
  • 01:57 – Why do you look at so many old cases?
  • 03:13 – Google takes us to Wikipedia
  • 05:09 – Where next?
  • 05:27 – Bailii.org
  • 05:59 – Research is not just about finding the stuff, it’s about making sense of the stuff
  • 06:59 – Starting with google v finishing….
  • 07:26 – Safety first with Google…
  • 08:04 – How do you know what’s credible?
  • 09:38 – Step 2 after Google.. AUSTLII The conversation will continue (though in the next video, we’ll side step into talking about primary and secondary sources).