The universe is full
of magical things,
our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts 1862-1960
Reading and research series
Researching on the Internet
How do I search the Internet?
- Narrow your topic and its description;
pull out key words, phrases and categories
- Use a search engine: does it contain a directory of topics?
Find the best combination of key words to locate information
Enter these in the search engine
- Get assistance from your local research librarian
- Refer to known, recommended, expert, or reviewed web sites
- Refer to professional portals
that may have
directories or collections by topic
- Review the number of options returned.
If there are
too many web sites, add more keywords.
If there are too few
options, narrow/delete some keywords,
or substitute other key
- Review the first pages returned:
If these are not
helpful, review your key words for a better description
- Use advanced search options in search engines:
Search options include
- Key word combinations, including Boolean strings
- Locations where key words are found
For example: in the
title, 1st paragraphs, coded metadata
- Languages to search in
- Sites containing media files
(images, videos, MP3/music,
ActiveX, JAVA, etc.)
- Dates web sites were created or updated
- Research using several search engines
engine has a different database of web sites it searches
"Meta-Search" engines actually search other search engines!
If one search engine returns few web sites, another may return
- Evaluate the content of the web sites you've found:
Refer to the Study Guide "Evaluating
web site content"
- Track your search:
List resources you checked; the
date your checked them
Identify the resource, especially its
location and the date you found it
- When printing, set your options to print the
of the page | the Web address | the date printed
What are some resources?
- Search engines
Search Engine Colossus
links to search engines from 148 countries
- Directories that organize information and links
a comprehensive human-reviewed directory of the web
features a searchable, subject-categorized directory of
authoritative websites; links to online texts, newspapers, and
magazines; and the Ask an ipl2 Librarian online reference
- Web sites devoted to particular topics, including text,
graphics, movies, music files.
Internet Directory for Botany, Phone-soft Internet Directory International organic
Stock photography (royalty free)
- Government documents, forms, laws, policies, etc.
U.S. Government Printing Office disseminates official
information from all three branches of the United States Federal
- Services and information by
and by for-profit businesses
- LISTSERVs or discussion groups:
browse any of the 50,686 public LISTSERV lists on the Internet,
search for mailing lists of interest, and get information about
LISTSERV host sites
- Resources at your local (public) library
These may require membership or registration
- Newspaper, journal, magazine databases
restricted to subscribers, require registration, or can be
fee-based for access
International conventions of copyright govern the use and
reproduction of all material: all information should be
Reading and research series