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Domains are indicated at the end of a URL - you're likely to recognize many 3 letter domains like .com and .gov. Domains can help you understand the type of site you’re visiting. In our research, this is the main way educators currently teach students to look for reliable sources.

In Search Coach, we highlight .edu, .gov, .org, and .com as well as country specific domains. Students can select which domains they would like to retrieve information from before conducting a search and see how to replicate this type of search in more common search engines like Bing or Google.

1. Select Domains to open the filtering options. Searches will automatically include all domains, but you can narrow your search by specifying which domains you'd like to find. 

Note: You can do this in any search engine by typing site: and the type of domain you want results from in the search bar. When you use the Domains filter in Search Coach this will be modeled in the search bar.

Screenshot of the domains selection dropdown. Options are listed with explanations (similar to those in the article)

2. Next, choose which types of sites you'd like to receive information from. 

.com stands for commercial, which means those sites are likely selling something. There may be good information here but use other sources to verify. 

.org sites are traditionally non-profits, but anyone can purchase one, so they can sometimes be inaccurate or hateful. Make sure to evaluate a site's agenda before using it as a source. 

.gov sites are run by United States governments and agencies, like the CDC or NASA. Information here is usually reliable. 

.edu sites are run by colleges and universities in the United States, so information here is usually reliable. 

You can select All to re-check all of the options and broaden your search. 

Country and Regional Domains can be used to explore results that were created in other countries. Generally, search results come from the United States or the country you're in. 

Select More to open a list of some of the most prevalent country domains. 

When you select a country from the checklist, the search bar will demonstrate how to modify searches manually in other search engines. 

If you're unable to find your country of interest, select Find more country domains, then find your desired country's 2-digit Alpha-2 code. 

Insert your Alpha-2 code after site: to narrow your search results to websites from that location.   

Screenshot of the Country and Regional domains list after clicking more

3.  Enter your search terms, then tap Enter. Your search results will be limited to articles from the domains you've selected. 

Tip: There are many domains and subdomains not included in our list. Subdomains modify domains. For example, Australian government sites have the subdomain gov.au. To ensure resources from the Australian government are included in your search, you would add site:gov.au. As another example, if you’ve found relevant resources on NASA.gov you can use the same pattern to add site:NASA.gov to your search, narrowing your results to just resources from NASA. Paying attention to domains and subdomains can help your students perform efficient searches and identify domains that are relevant and reliable.

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