Although we can easily google just about anything online these days,  however searching for specific information on certain topic still require a little bit of ‘how to’ skill using search engines. Googling “rice farming” for example will result in list of more than 10 million web pages on the topics. How are you gonna sip through each of these millions of web pages? It would almost impossible and impractical to do so.

Government sites
So what you should do? First tip, check out government or relevant authorities site on the topic. For example, even the poorly design, not so user friendly Malaysia’s Ministry of Agriculture website can be helpful and contain lot of information on Malaysia agriculture, its policies and related resources than web pages listed in Google search results.

So does, Philippine government’s PhilRice website which is probably the most informative, resourceful government websites I’ve seen yet – albeit, on rice cultivation in the region.  The ‘resource’ link is a must click section on the website. Buried deep in the link you will find section on publications – online version of ‘PhilRice’ journal, video, new releases, R&D highlights etc.

Subscribing to hard copy journals is preferable. But if you didn’t have access to ones you can always check out their online version. There is drawback though. The online version often brief, contain less information compare to the hard copy journal.

type: 'rice cultivation filetype:pdf'

To search for online version of journals papers type (without the apostrophe): ‘rice cultivation filetype:pdf’. It will display list of pdf files – a common format of online version of scholarly publications related to ‘rice cultivation’ as shown above.

Which search engine to use?

Google is used by 6 out of 10 net users worldwide when searching for information. In fact the word ‘google’ has been announced as a verb in 1998 according to the Economist.

Page 7 of “The Google Story” by David Vise and Mark Malseed tells us that

To google means “to search”. That the company’s name has become a verb in English, German and other languages is testament to its pervasive influence on global culture.

But there are other search engines with equally good technology such as Bing and Yahoo. I often use Bing and Google when searching.